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Regional  Oral  History  Office 
The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California 
Berkeley,  California 


Cyr  Copertini 

Martin  Huff 

Campaign  Housekeeping, 

From  Grassroots  Politics 
to  the  California 
Franchise  Tax  Board, 

With  an  Introduction  by 
Elizabeth  Gatov 

Interviews  Conducted  by 

Gabrielle  Morris 

in  1986 

Copyright  (CM  1987  by  The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 

This  manuscript  is  made  available  for  research 
purposes.   No  part  of  the  manuscript  may  be  quoted  for 
publication  without  the  written  permission  of  the 
Director  of  The  Bancroft  Library  of  the  University  of 
California,  Berkeley. 

Requests  for  permission  to  quote  for  publication 
should  be  addressed  to  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office, 
486  Library,  University  of  California,  Berkeley  94720, 
and  should  include  identification  of  the  specific 
passages  to  be  quoted,  anticipated  use  of  the  passages, 
and  identification  of  the  user. 

It  is  recommended  that  this  oral  history  be  cited 
as  follows : 

To  cite  the  volume:  California  Democrats' 

Golden  Era,  1958-1966,  an  oral  history 
conducted  in  1986,  Regional  Oral  History 
Office,  The  Bancroft  Library,  University 
of  California,  Berkeley,  1987. 

To  cite  individual  interview:  Cyr 
Copertini,  "Campaign  Housekeeping,  1940- 
1965,"  an  oral  history  conducted  1986  by 
Gabrielle  Morris,  in  California 
Democrats'  Golden  Era,  1958-1966, 
Regional  Oral  History  Office,  The 
Bancroft  Library,  University  of 
California,  Berkeley,  1987. 

Copy  No . 


One  of  the  primary  charges  of  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office  is  the 
documentation  of  California  government  and  political  history.  Since  1969, 
the  Office  has  conducted  extensive  projects  focused  on  the  administrations 
of  Governors  Earl  Warren,  Goodwin  Knight,  Edmund  G.  Brown,  Sr. ,  and  Ronald 
Reagan,  covering  the  period  1932-1974. 

In  addition  to  elected  and  appointed  officials  in  the  executive, 
legislative,  and  judicial  branches  of  government,  the  Office  has  been 
especially  interested  in  collecting  data  on  the  Democratic  and  Republican 
parties  and  election  campaigns,  as  well  as  the  work  of  citizens  active  in 
formal  party  work  and  advocacy  of  crucial  public  issues.   Documentation  of 
the  history  of  the  Democratic  party  includes  thoughtful  oral  histories  with 
such  Democratic  leaders  of  the  1950s  and  1960s  as  Don  Bradley,  Edmund  G.  "Pat" 
Brown,  Elizabeth  Smith  Gatov,  Roger  Kent,  and  Thomas  Lynch,  among  others.* 
Many  of  these  interviews  mention  the  devoted  and  expert  roles  of  Cyr  Copertini 
and  Martin  Huff  in  significant  activities. 

In  addition  to  close  political  cooperation,  personal  friendships 
developed  among  many  of  those  who  worked  together  in  those  years.   This 
volume  of  interviews  is  a  tribute  to  those  friendships.   After  the  death  of 
Don  Bradley  in  1981,  friends  and  associates  presented  a  gift  in  his  memory  to 
the  Regional  Oral  History  Office  for  continuing  work  on  the  history  of  the 
California  Democratic  party.   After  careful  consideration,  Cyr  Copertini  and 
Martin  Huff  were  invited  to  be  interviewed  because  of       unique  perspectives 
on  day-to-day  operations  and  finances  of  the  state  central  committee  during 
the  era  when  Bradley  managed  key  Democratic  campaigns. 

The  Office  takes  this  opportunity  to  thank  the  many  friends  of  Don 
Bradley  who  made  these  interviews  possible.   They  are  listed  on  the  following 

Gabrielle  Morris,  Interviewer-Editor 
Regional  Oral  History  Office 

August  1987 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 
486  The  Bancroft  Library 
University  of  California,  Berkeley 

*  Don  Bradley,  Managing  Democratic  Campaigns,  1954-1966,  1982 

Edmund  G.  "Pat"  Brown,  Sr.,  Years  of  Growth,  1939-1966:  Law  Enforcement, 

Politics,  and  the  Governor's  Office,  1982 
Elizabeth  Smith  Gatov,  Grassroots  Party  Organizer  to  Treasurer  of  the  United 

States,  1978. 

Roger  Kent,  Building  the  Democratic  Party  in  California,  1954-1966,  1981. 
Thomas  Lynch,  A  Career  in  Politics  and  the  Attorney  General's  Office,  1982. 

The  above  are  publications  of  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office,  University 
of  California,  Berkeley,  available  in  the  reading  room  of  The  Bancroft 
Library.   See  also  series  lists  for  Government  History  Documentation  Project. 



Stanley  Arnold,  Susanville 

Jerry  E.  Berg,  San  Francisco 

Jean  Black,  San  Francisco 

Richard  C.  Blum  and  Dianne  Feinstein,  San  Francisco 

Roger  Boas,  San  Francisco 

Chuck  Bosley,  Shepherds town,  West  Virginia 

James  Browne ,  Sacramento 

Winslow  and  Donna  Christian,  San  Francisco 

Cyr  and  Lloyd  Copertini,  San  Francisco 

Dick  and  Jean  Day,  Santa  Rosa 

Betty  Dempsey,  Castro  Valley 

Ann  Eliaser,  San  Francisco 

Cathy  E.  Fuller,  Helena,  Montana 

Frederick  P.  Furth,  San  Francisco 

John  W.  Hall,  San  Francisco 

Elinor  Heller,  Atherton 

Joseph  Houghteling,  San  Francisco 

Anne  and  Martin  Huff,  Sacramento 

Andrea  I.  Jepson,  San  Francisco 

Howard  and  Nancy  Jewel,  Oakland 

Alice  C.  Kent,  Kentfield 

Marshall  Kilduff,  San  Francisco 

Francis  McCarty,  San  Francisco 

Harold  I.  McGrath,  Santa  Rosa 

Hon.  George  Miller,  Member  of  Congress 

Harold  Morgan,  San  Rafael 

Richard  Nevins ,  Arcadia 

Robert  F.  Peckham,  San  Francisco 

Louise  Ringwalt,  Sam  Clemente 

Thelma  Shelley,  San  Francisco 

Nancy  Sloss,  Washington,  D.C. 

Stuart  Spencer,  Irvine 

Jack  and  Vickie  Tomlinson,  San  Francisco 

Charles  S.  Warn,  Santa  Monica 

Marianne  Weigel,  Kensington 

Robert  and  Evelyn  Williams,  Oakland 

Sally  Laidlaw  Williams,  Oakland 

Charles  and  Annie  Winner,  Los  Angeles 



It  was  a  genuine  grass-roots  effort  that  engaged  the  prolific  talents 
of  Martin  Huff  and  Cyr  Copertini.   An  effort  that  lifted  the  Democratic 
party  in  California  from  the  political  basement  to  the  penthouse  of 
representation  and  administration  in  Sacramento  and  Washington,  D.C. 

Some  have  joyously  labeled  it  the  Golden  Age  of  California  Democrats. 

In  those  days,  because  of  the  numbers  of  people  involved  in  the 
party's  efforts  to  win  elections,  two  particular  linchpins  were  required 
to  keep  the  operation  on  track  and  functioning. 

One  was  a  financial  manager  who  could  answer  the  persistent  question, 
"What  did  you  do  with  the  MONEY?"  to  satisfy  the  cynical  and  assiduous 
readers  of  financial  reports.   That  was  Martin,  whom  anyone,  on  sight, 
would  want  to  have  as  executor  of  an  estate,  or  to  be  the  person  to  find 
one  unconscious  after  an  accident. 

If  he  had  lived  two  hundred  years  earlier,  Martin  very  likely 
would  have  been  a  delegate  to  the  Constitutional  Convention  where  he 
would  have  contributed  enormously  to  the  resolution  of  conflicts,  the  major 
task  of  those  who  gathered  in  Philadelphia  that  summer. 

The  other  was  the  gyroscopic  impresario  who  kept  happy  and  motivated 
the  curious  collection  of  individuals  who  labored  in  political  campaigns 
twenty  and  thirty  years  ago;  they  thought  of  themselves  as  "professional 
volunteers . " 

In  those  days,  television  consumed  a  very  small  part  of  the  campaign 
budget;  the  bulk  was  spent  on  organization,  which  meant  a  network  of 
people  and  their  support  apparatus;  headquarters,  telephones,  mailings, 
printing,  etc . 

People-managing,  therefore,  with  careful  attention  to  morale  and 
fragile  egos,  was  critically  important. 

California  Democrats,  during  the  period  of  their  political  escalation, 
owed  a  vast  amount  of  their  success  to  Martin  Huff  and  Cyr  Copertini. 
Their  skills  contributed  directly  to  the  generation  of  trust  among  the 
participants  and  the  resulting  effusion  of  effort  by  volunteers  and 
contributors  who  helped  nominate  the  candidates  the  party  offered  to  the 
voters  and  then  went  on  to  provide  the  structure  of  support  needed  to 
win  the  election  in  the  fall. 


Martin  Huff,    the  handily   elected   auditor-controller   of   the  city   of 
Oakland,   was   drafted  to  the  position  of   party  treasurer,    a   position 
especially   sensitive  at   the  time   of   the   quarterly  meetings   of   the   state 
central  committee  when  a   statement   of   the  party   finances  was   obligatory. 

Martin,    whose   later   career   as   Executive  Officer   of    the  state 
Franchise  Tax  Board   provided   an  appropriate   field   for   his   talents,   was 
able,    before   the  computer  age,    to  create  a   financial   report   that  awed 
even  those   of  us  already   familiar  with  the  contents.      A  copy  was   placed 
on   every  chair   in   the  meeting   hall.      Many  pages   long,    cranked    out   on  a 
mimeograph  machine  which  was    the   state   of    the  art    in   those  days,    it  was 
so   scrupulously  detailed   that   by  the   time  those   intending   to  nit-pick 
had   found    the   item   of   their   interest,    the  report   had    long   since  been 
accepted . 

After  a   few  of   those  documents   had   been   examined   at  consecutive 
meetings,    the  cleanup   squad   found  most   of   the  financial  reports   still 
sitting  on   the  chairs,    squashed,    unopened   and   unread. 

Such  was   the  power   of   the   trusted   treasurer.      And    such  was   the 
stature  he  provided   to   the  whole  administration   of   the  party.      He   shared 
his   integrity  with  all   of  us. 

Cyr   Copertini,    the  disarming  ringmistress   of   the  political 
menagerie,   was   adroit   at   creating   an  upbeat    environment  whatever   the 
facts  might   imply.      Her  usual   speaking   tone  had   a  musical   lilt 
bordering   on   laughter   that  warmed    the   stoniest  who  heard    it.      She  had 
the  gift   of  motivating   even   the  vaguest   of  volunteers  who  drifted    into 
the   office,    of  making   them  feel   that  without   their   inspired   help   the 
campaign  was  a    lost   cause.      Yet   quietly,   without   seeming   to   supervise, 
she  knew  precisely  what  was   going   on   in   every   facet   of   the   operation 
and   kept  a   stream  of   communication   flowing   in  both  directions. 

To  candidates  and   their   staffs,    Cyr  was   the  morale  officer  and 
the  foundation   of  reliable   information.      No  matter  what   her   spot   on 
the  non-existent   organization  chart  might    look  like,    or  what   her 
equally  non-existent   job  description  might   have  been,    Cyr  was   IN   CHARGE. 

Those  years   of  building   the  California   Democratic   party  and   finally 
winning  a  record  number   of   elections   in   the   1950s   and    '60s   could   not 
have  happened  without   Cyr ' s  genius   in  what  are   today  called   "communication 
skills"   and   Martin's  manner    of   scrubbed-clean  honesty.      They  built 
confidence,    trust,   and   abiding  affection   into   the  party   structure,   and 
were   integral  members   of   the  "212  Gang,"   the   informal,    hardworking 
group   that  coalesced   around   the   leadership   of  Roger   Kent   at   party 
headquarters    in   San  Francisco. 

The  firm  relationships  evolved  by  these  two  unpretentious  people 
could  not  be  equated  in  money.   Their  talent  in  human  understanding 
made  the  system  of  those  days  work  like  a  well-lubricated  machine; 
I  use  the  phrase  with  deep  respect  because  I  believe  harmony  under 
pressure  is  a  rare  condition  in  this  contentious  world.   Their  dedicated 
work,  while  painting  with  a  small  brush,  was  on  a  very  large  canvas. 

Their  effectiveness  changed  the  polity  of  California  for  the  last 
thirty  years,  perhaps  even  longer. 

Elizabeth  Gatov 
Former  Democratic  National 
Commit teem ember 

May  1987 

Kentfield,  California 


Tues.,  October  6, 1981 



Don  Bradley 

•t.      .   '•   '    ,...!   •   -  '  ^ 

By  Scow  Blakt? 
Donald  L.  Bradley,  the 
wily  political  strategist  re 
sponsible  for  the  victories  of 
three  San  Francisco  mayor* 
and  the  successes  of  numer 
ous  Democratic  Party  causes, 
died  Friday.  Be  was  C. 

A  resident  of  Bolinas,  he  died 
at  the  University  of  California 
Medical  Center  at  San  Francisco 
after  several  weeks  in  the  hospital. 

An  irascible  and  witty  man 
with  a  graveUy  voice  tuned  by 
endless  cigarets,  Mr.  Bradley  head 
ed  the  successful  campaigns  of 
mayors  Jack  Shelley  in  1063. 
George  Moscone  in  1975  and  DUnne 
Feinstein  io  1979. 

In  a  career  that  spanned  four 
decades,  Mr.  Bradley  ran  more  than 
130  campaigns,  some  losers  and 
many  winners.  He  was  most  closely 
'associated  with  mainstream  and 
liberal  Democrats,  and  his  candi 
dates  reflected  that.  He  worked  to 
elect  Harry  Truman,  Adlai  Steven 
son  and  Lyndon  Johnson. 

He  wa/one  of  the  key  figures 
in  three  of  Edmund  (Pat)  Brown's 
campaigns  for  governor  —  his  1958 
landslide  over  the  late  Senator 
William  F  Knowland.  his  1962 
victory  for  re-election  against  Rich 
ard  Nixon  and  his  bitter  defeat  by 
Ronald  Reagan  in  1966, 

.  He  also  ran  several  glamourless 
campaigns  —  such  as  those  involv 
ing  sewer  bond  issues  —  with'  gusto. 

When  his  personal  beliefs  were 
involved,  politics  became  a  crusade, 
and  a  win  —  such  as  the  successful 
1978  drive  to  defeat  the  statewide 
Briggs  anti-gay  initiative  —  some 
thing  akin  to  moral  victory.  .,-•• 

"Unlike  many  in  his  profession. 

be  was  always  committed  to  his 
candidate  or  cause."  recalled  Corey 
Buscr..  WDO  wa?  press  secretary  to 
toe  late  Mavor  Moscone 

Democratic  strategist 

Mr.  Bradley  —  a  large  Ban 
with  a  face  creased  like  an  BB- 
iroDed  shirt  and  heavy  jowls  that 
testified  to  his  delight  in  cooking 
and  entertaining  —  built  a  reputa 
tion  early  on  as  an  astute  behind- 
the-scenes  operator  in  the  world  of 
getting  votes. 

He  first  ran  a  campaign  in  1948 
when  he  was  Napa  County  Demo 
cratic  chairman  and  headed  up  the 
Democrats'  push  for  Harry  Truman 

But  his  move  into  the  main 
stream  of  California  political  life  — 
and  the  engineering  of  the  Demo 
cratic  takeover  in  Sacramento  that 
endures  to  this  day  —  came  with 
the  victorious  senatorial  campaign 
of  Dr.  Stephen  P.  Teak  of  West 
Point  (Calaveras  County)  in  1953., 
Teale  won  by  75  votes,  and  he  went 
on  to  become  a  powerful  figure  in 
the  state  Senate. 

Mr!  Bradley  was  Joined  in  the 
Teak  race  and  in  subsequent  canv 
paigns  by  Pierre  Salinger,  who  later 
became  press  secretary  to  Presi 
dent  John  F.  Kennedy.  Mr.  Bradley 
went  on  to  manage  the  capture  of  a 
number  of  mountain  county  seats, 
uhich  gradually  shifted  the  bal 
ance  of  power  out  t>f  Republican 

As  much  as  Mr  Bradley  cared 

*  about  politics,  he  also  enjoyed  the 
good  life:  travel  and  sports,  good 

food  and  fiae  spirits. 

V  For  r  vhlk  to  the  16OH,  Mr. 
Bradley  nad  a  part  Interest  in  a 
Boiinas  bar  named  Smiley  V  1t 
proved  so  popular  that  an  ice  cream 
establishment  across  the  strest  re 
named  itself  ScowleyV 

.:  And  once  after  losing  a  partial*; 
larly  dose  race,  Bradley  was  beard 
to  growl.  The  people  have  spokes 
.*-  the  bums.* 

Mayor  Feinstein,  in  Manila 
heading  a  trade  delegation,  said, 
yesterday,  "Very  few  people  knew; 
and  understood  politics  and  the 
electorate  with  the  acumen,  sensi 
tivity  and  skill  of  Don  Bradley.  Don* 
was  a  politician's  politician  with 
solid  organization  skills,  vast  and; 
tested  experience  in  acomples  area 
and   a  tremendous  network  of 

Those  fortunate  enough  tor 
have  knows  him  found  a  leader 
they  could  respect,  a  -wily  and 
tough  advisor  and  a  man  who  cared 
deeply  about  the  overall  quality  of, 
our  .political  life,"  the  mayor  said. 

"My  heartfelt  condolences  go 
out  to  his  family  and  loved  ones."  •• 

Mr.  Bradley  is  survived  by  his 
sons,  Vernon  of  San  Francisco  and 
David  of  Fairfax,  and  he  daughter.- 
Marsha  Gifford  of  Corte  Maden 
His  former  wife.  Florence,  lives  in.' 
Novato.  £ 

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n  Houlihan,  Council  of  Social  Planning  official 

Brown  discuss  Franchise  Tax  Board  work 






















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Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,  California 

The  Don  L.  Bradley  Memorial  Project 

Cyr  Copertini 

An  Interview  Conducted  by 

Gabrielle  Morris 

in  1986 

Copyright   c   1987  by  The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  —  Cyr  Copertini 



The  Forties  and  Fifties:  Local  and  National  Politics 

Interweave  1 

Building  a  Volunteer  Base  9 

Women  and  Politics  in  the  Fifties  13 

The  Triumphant  Era  of  Pat  Brown  16 

The  Turbulent  Sixties  18 

Conclusion:  Constant  Ideas  and  Major  Changes  25 


INDEX  30 

Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

Room  486  The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,    California  94720 

(Please  print  or  write  clearly) 

Your  full  name       C  O  &  &  &~F  /  W  »         C^/te  /V  L>  L  L* S /Z>  C 

T"  > 

Date  of  birth          fry ///3-C  Place  of  birth  S  .  /^ 

Father's   full  name         ~T  H  0  fri  &  <;          fo?  d  R  a  A  rf 


Birthplace    _  W  $  P^-l<  \}  )//<>_  C   4  A  ' 

'  J 

Occupation     _  fT>  0  I  C/  £  £ 

Mother's   full  name          <£  A   A-  £  &  V  V  A  R  A  rVC 

Birthplace    _  5  ft   W      F  '  &  3  i}s  C  i  S  C    o 

Occupation     Pepf       STcfl<^       U)  /  /yd  0  u>     D/Sjflvz'    J-ttvi  <?  LVI  f 


Where  did  you  grow  up  ?  _  ^>  ;  /  v 
Present  community  _  -*  • 

Education  ff  ft  (I  Or-.A  /  'At       GYflf"mA#-    +    /+'<=?  h 

Stfoe:       e-rer>,**      d  o  u 

Occupation(s)  dmisr.   Sei^T*      To  /T>A*jote   Fen$T«in    V-   ^  o$  c  o  >j  c 


T>,^r     &eO    ITQ^   Cnn*.   fcTe    STAfLM.  -    ^  C  D  C  4  J.  F  / 


--  «2^  -To- 

Special  interests  or  activities   &(),'/<J/^   A  l-^co^e.  /o 




Brisk  and  petite,  Cyr  Copertini  was  a  pleasure  to  interview.   It 
took  a  while  to  find  time  for  an  interview  in  her  busy  life  as  scheduling 
secretary  to  San  Francisco  Mayor  Dianne  Feinstein.   On  April  8,  1986, 
Feinstein  had  a  meeting  elsewhere,  and  Copertini  perched  on  a  chair  in 
the  darkly  ornate  mayor's  office  during  lunch  hour  and  breezed  through 
forty  years  of  nearly  continuous  Democratic  party  activity.   "I  took  eight 
months  off  in  1950  to  have  a  baby,"  she  smiles. 

Her  first  job,  right  out  of  high  school  in  1942,  was  as  secretary 
to  William  Malone,  chief  northern  California  Democrat  of  the  1940s. 
Before  the  tape  recorder  was  turned  on,  Copertini  smiled  and  commented 
that  if  she  had  known  how  important  Malone  was,  she  would  have  paid 
more  attention  to  how  he  worked.   In  a  few  brief  remarks,  she  brings  to 
life  successful  small  fundraising  for  Roosevelt's  1944  campaign,  Malone 's 
contacts  with  national  figures,  insights  on  San  Francisco  politics.   She 
continues  with  Roger  Kent's  work  in  strengthening  the  party  statewide 
in  the  1950s  and  '60s.   Sometimes  on  the  party  payroll,  sometimes  on  a 
candidate's,  sometimes  as  a  volunteer,  Copertini  managed  through  the 
years  the  mechanics  essential  to  keeping  political  activities  moving. 

Particularly  interesting  is  her  account  of  the  212  Gang,  the  energetic, 
able  loyalists  who  worked  together  at  212  Sutter  Street  in  San  Francisco, 
while  it  was  headquarters  for  both  the  Democratic  State  Central  Committee 
and  the  California  Democratic  Council,  the  celebrated  grassroots  organization 
founded  in  1954  on  enthusiasm  for  presidential  candidate  Adlai  Stevenson. 
Senator  Clair  Engle's  office  was  there  too,  for  a  while,  providing 
additional  opportunity  for  feedback  and  encouragement  between  the  groups. 

The  transcript  of  the  interview  was  lightly  edited  at  the  Regional 
Oral  History  Office  and  sent  to  Copertini  for  review.   She  apologized 
for  unavoidable  delays  in  sending  back  the  manuscript  for  final  processing. 
When  it  returned,  she  had  retyped  many  pages  so  that  her  careful  revisions 
would  be  readable. 

Gabrielle  Morris 

22  April  1987 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

486  The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 

[Interview  1:   April  8,  1986]  #// 

The  Forties  and  Fifties:   Local  and  National  Politics 

Copertini:   — That  was  my  first  job,  my  first  job  anywhere  [with  William 

Malone,  then  chairman  of  the  Democratic  State  Central  Committee.] 
I  was  just  out  of  high  school,  and  it  was  also  an  ethnic  hire, 
which  is  interesting,  because  Bill  Malone  asked  the  parish 
priest  to  send  him  a  "nice  little  Irish  girl"  and  I  was  a  "nice 
little  Irish  girl."   [laughs] 

At  that  time — the  first  war  year — the  primaries  were  still 
in  late  August — August  25th  in  1942.   They  changed  them  later 
so  that  the  soldiers'  ballots  could  get  back  in  time  for 
accountability.   So,  they  were  moved  to  June.   I  went  to  work 
kind  of  as  a  summer  job  and  then  stayed  on  forever. 

Morris:     Forever,  was  it — ? 

Copertini:   That  was  Earl  Warren  and  Governor  Culbert  Olson,  it  was  Olson's 
try  for  a  second  term.   It  was  his  campaign  for  reelection, 
which  he  didn't  make. 

Morris:     Did  Bill  Malone  think  he  was  going  to  make  it? 

////This  symbol  indicates  that  a  tape  or  a  segment  of  a  tape  has 
begun  or  ended.   For  a  guide  to  the  tapes  see  page  29. 



Oh,  I  doubt  that,  I  think  that  Mr.  Malone  was  forever  the 
realist.   And,  you  know,  you  do  everything  that  there  is  to 
be  done,  but  I  don't  think  he  would  think  so. 

Did  you  grow  up  in  a  political  family? 
brothers — ? 

Was  your  father,  your 

Copertini:   Not  terribly  active,  but  terribly  conscious.   We  were  a 

laboring  family  from  out  in  the  Mission,  and  I  can  remember 
photographs,  pictures,  hanging  on  the  wall,  with  campaign 
buttons  stuck  in  them.   And  I  got  my  first  library  card  the  day 
that  Roosevelt  was  elected.   My  father,  who  was  Catholic,  used 
to  pray — because  he  hadn't  finished  his  education — he  used  to 
pray,  "keep  Roosevelt  in  office  until  my  girls  get  through 

Morris:     Oh,  that's  wonderful. 

Copertini:   It  was  that  kind  of  belief  in  Roosevelt  and  the  party. 

Morris:     Yes.  What  did  Mr.  Malone  have  you  doing? 

Copertini:   There  was  a  campaign  headquarters,  but  I  actually  worked  for  him. 
I  worked  out  of  his  law  office  as  a  receptionist.   I  handled  his 
appointments,  and  then  whatever  came  in  of  a  political  nature. 
For  instance,  in  the  only  Roosevelt  campaign  that  I  was  ever  in, 
Cyril  Magnin  as  treasurer  was  a  name  on  an  ad  in  all  the  papers 
asking  for  one  and  five  dollar  contributions.   God,  they  came  in 
in  droves,  and  they  came  to  us  on  a  mailing  address,  requiring 
counting  and  thank  you  letters.   It  was  pretty  routine  stuff. 

Morris:     And  your  responsibility  was  also  keeping  track  of  contributions 
as  they  came  in? 

Copertini:  To  that  extent,  on  this  special  "to  the  small  contributor" 

appeal.   There  were  other  finance  committees,  but  this  thing 
was  a  little  bit  different,  in  that  it  asked  for  small 
contributions  from  people  who  probably  had  never  contributed 
to  a  campaign  before. 

Morris:     Yes.   Did  Mr.  Malone — he's  sort  of  a  mythical  creature,  having 
been  involved  in  Democratic  politics  for  so  long — did  he  have 
the  kind  of  interest  in  building  the  party  that  Roger  Kent, 
later  on,  did? 

Copertini:   It  was  completely  different.   He  certainly  had  no  interest  in 
keeping  the  party  alive  and  well  and  in  winning  elections.   At 
the  time  I  came  in,  Malone  was  jocularly  known  as  "The 
Pendergast  west  of  the  Rockies."  His  power  was  significant. 
He  had  been  state  central  committee  chair  and  county  chair  for 
a  number  of  years  by  the  time  I  arrived.   But  that  summer,  in 
the  primary,  he  was  deposed  in  his  bid  for  reelection  as  state 
chair  by  George  R.  Reilly  [member,  State  Board  of  Equalization, 
1939-1982],  who  was  already  on  the  Board  of  Equalization.   So 
while  Reilly  became  the  party  chair,  Malone  stayed  on  as 
county  chair,  which  he  did  for  a  number  of  years.   As  an 
interesting  by-product  of  that,  in  the  following  year  of  '43, 
he  involved  himself  in  the  San  Francisco  mayoral  elections,  at 
which  there  was  a  truly  behind-the-scenes  effort  at  assisting 
Roger  Lapham.   George  Reilly  was- one  of  the  contenders,  and 
Chester  McPhee  was  another,  and — I  think  there  were  five  that 
were  running — well,  Rossi  was  up  for  reelection. 

Morris:     Why  was  it  a  behind-the-scenes  effort? 

Copertini:   Because,  first  of  all,  Lapham  was  a  Republican,  and  secondly, 
the  party  did  not  get  involved  as  such  in  mayoral  elections 
because  they  are  non-partisan.   Angelo  Rossi  had  been  in  for 
sixteen  years,  and  I  don't  remember  who  his  opposition  was  along 
the  way.   But,  in  between  time,  Malone,  as  chairman — most  of 
this  relates  to  county  chairman — had  built  neighborhood 
organizations  here.   To  back  up,  I  remember  him  coming  to  the 
door  when  I  was  a  little  kid,  and  he  was  just  a  guy  out  doing 
precinct  work;  he  had  the  same  name  as  my  doctor,  and  I  was 
terrified,  because  I  thought  I  was  going  to  get  a  shot  [laughing], 
It  was  just  some  guy  who  wanted  to  get  a  vote  for  somebody  and 
doing  it  the  hard  way. 

Later,  when  others  wanted  to  take  over  the  local  party,  he 
would  be  critized  for  being  a  Montgomery  Street  chairman,  but 
he  started,  as  so  many  who  criticized  him  started,  doing  his 
precinct  work.   By  the  time  I  came  in  he  had  risen  in  the  ranks 
and  worked  mostly  from  his  law  offices.   There  was  a  headquarters 
that  was  open  the  year  around,  and  it  was  professionally  staffed, 
but  not  with  volunteers  to  the  extent  that  happened  in  the 
party  a  few  years  later.   There  was  a  resurgence  when  Roger  Kent 
came  in  and  visited  the  headquarters  daily  but  at  this  time  it 
was  a  more  contained,  more  businessman-like  effort.   There 
weren't  the  hordes  of  volunteers  that  you  saw  come  along  later 
under  Roger  and  the  CDC  [California  Democratic  Councils]. 



Morris : 



Morris : 

Morris : 


Right.   Then,  it  sounds  like  before  Roger,  it  was  mostly 
San  Francisco  based.   There  wasn't  much  of  a  statewide 

It  was  there,  but  one  of  the  complaints  about  Malone  was  that 
he  didn't  like  to  travel.   There  were  things  going  on  out  there, 
and  certainly  there  was  a  lot  of  exchange  between  us  and 
Los  Angeles,  where  Sheridan  Downey  had  come  from.   He  was  then 
U.S.  Senator.   Ellis  Patterson  was  lieutenant  governor;  he 
had  come  from  down  there.   The  structure  of  the  party  is  such 
that  there's  a  north  and  a  south  chairman.   One  year  a 
northerner  is  elected  as  statewide  chair  and  there's  a  southern 
chairman,  and  the  next  year  the  southerner  is  your  statewide, 
and  there's  a  northern  vice.   So,  I'm  sure  that  the  southerners 
had  the  counterpart  of  what  Malone  had  put  together  here,  which 
was  really  kind  of  assembly  district  organizations. 

Most  of  his  efforts  were  put  on  assembly  districts?   On 
legislative  elections? 

That's  in  San  Francisco.   But  he  dealt  on  a  much  different 
level  too.   He  had  good  rapport  rfith  Senator  Sheridan  Downey, 
and  there  was  lots  of  interaction  with  Washington.  There 
was  Ed  Flynn,  who  was  the  national  chair  there,  followed  by 
Bob  Hannegan,  and  he  was  quite  close  to  both  of  those,  and  others 
before  them.   You  know,  his  Washington — 

His  Irish  mafia? 

It  was. 
as  bad. 

They  talk  about  the  Kennedys  [laughing],  this  was  just 

Well,  they're  people  from  various  areas  and  that's  important 
to  have  somebody  you  can  talk  to,  I  guess. 

Well,  yes.   That's  right,  they  were  people  in  power.   He  also  had 
great  friendly  and  political  relations  with  other  nationalities. 
The  Chows,  Jack  and  Albert  Chow,  or  the  Chinese  Six  Companies 
here  in  San  Francisco;  they  were  very,  very  close.   And  Black 
friends,  labor  friends,  and  certainly  Jewish  friends. 

Then  you  continued  to  work  for  Bill  Malone,  until  when? 
did  you  go  over  to  the  Democratic  committee  itself? 


I  got  married  in  '47,  and  didn't  do  anything  until  Truman  was 
running  in  '48.   I  just  didn't  work  at  all.   The  Truman  campaign 
was  such  a  poor  operation;  money  wasn't  plentiful  and  they 

Copertini : 


Morris : 
Copertini ; 

Morris : 
Morris : 

Copertini : 

were  desperate  for  help,  so  they  called  and  asked  if  I  would 
come  back.   Then  it  just  flew  from  there;  I  never  wanted  to  go 
home  again.   I  had  an  eight  months'  hiatus  when  my  child  was 
born,  but  it's  been  pretty  much  all  the  time. 

When  he  was  small — and  you  asked,  you  know,  how  you  could 
do  so  many  things — I  actually  was  not  an  employee  of  the  state 
central  committee  for  their  office,  so  much  as  I  was  hired 
by  them  for  campaigns  and  projects.   The  office  was  ongoing, 
and  from  time  to  time  I  worked  out  of  there,  or  was  employed 
by  them  for  fundraising,  or  something.   But  I  moved  around  a 
lot  while  under  their  wing. 

Yes.   You  were  on  the  staff. 

No;  contractual — from  time  to  time.   There  were  three  people 
who  were  permanently  on  staff:   a  secretary,  a  director,  and 
an  assistant,  who  was  a  field  representative.   And  then  there 
were  those  of  us  who  came  and  went.   As  I  say,  sometimes  I 
was  on  state  central  committee  payroll  and  worked  out  of  the 
office,  sometimes  on  CDC,  sometimes  on  a  campaign  payroll.   More 
often  it  would  happen  that  either  the  director  or  the  assistant 
would  be  sent  someplace  and  then  I  would  go  with  that  person. 

Doing  fieldwork? 

Not  so  much  that  as  campaigns  and  fundraising.   Largely 
campaigns.   And  then,  when  that  was  over  I'd  come  home  again  to 
the  state  central  committee  office  and  wait  to  be  deployed. 

You  sort  of  set  up  a  headquarters  for  the  campaigns? 

That's  right,  yes. 

Tell  me  about  the  first  one  of  those  you  remember, 
in  Roger's  era? 

This  was 

Well,  let's  see.   The  first  one  I  remember  was  under  George 
Miller  [Jr.].   The  [Estes]  Kefauver  delegation  had  won,  and 
there  was  a  change  of  command.   The  Malone  people  were  out  but 
someone  I  had  known — Don  Bradley — was  involved  and  important 
to  the  new  effort.   He  had  been  a  county  chair  during  the 
Truman  campaign,  was  in  the  winning  campaign  of  Jack  Shelley 
and  worked  for  Jack  in  his  office  and  I  knew  him  from  there. 

Copertini:   Then  George  Miller,  who  became  his  good  friend  and  was 
chair  when  the  Kefauver  delegation  won,  hired  him  as 
executive  director.   Earlier  in  1952,  I  had  been  working 
in  the  campaign  of  a  candidate,  Clinton  D.  McKinnon,  who, 
under  crossfiling,  lost  in  the  primaries  to  Knowland.   But 
the  permanent  state  headquarters  was  only  a  block  away  and  I 
spent  a  lot  of  time  at  the  state  committee  when  there  was  an 
attempt  to  put  together  an  unpledged  delegation  to  take  up 
the  slack  when  Truman  pulled  out  of  the  race  so  I  saw  more  of 
Don.   The  effort  didn't  work  and,  as  we've  said,  the  delegation 
pledged  to  Kefauver  won  and  Bradley  went  to  work  for  the 
chair.   He  hired  me  for  interim  things,  fundraising,  conventions, 
campaigns — he  and  then  Roger  Kent.   When  Don  opened  a  head 
quarters  I  would  go  with  him. 

Morris:     Great.   This  is  traveling  around  the  state? 

Copertini:   A  little,  but  not  so  much.   Don,  at  times,  took  up  residency 
in  southern  California,  and  would  leave  us  behind  here  in 
San  Francisco.   A  statewide  campaign  doesn't  do  well  unless 
the  main  bases  are  here  in  San  Francisco  and  in  Los  Angeles. 
You  can't,  for  instance,  have  the  northern  headquarters  in 
San  Mateo  or  have  it  in  Oakland.   It  just  doesn't  work. 

Morris:     And  if  it's  a  statewide  campaign,  you  need  to  have  an  office 
both  in  Los  Angeles  and  in  San  Francisco? 

Copertini:   Absolutely. 

Morris:     Does  that  get  to  be  kind  of  complicated  sometimes,  if  the 
people  in  charge  of  those  two  offices  aren't  on  the  same 

Copertini:   It  never  did,  because  although  Bradley  would  be  sent  down  to 
Los  Angeles,  obviously,  anybody  who  ran  the  operation  here 
would  be  somebody  that  would  be  compatible  with  him. 

Morris:     Were  there  the  same  kinds  of  Don  Bradley  people  in  southern 
California,  real  political  campaign  experts? 

Copertini:   Well,  there  was  only  one  Bradley.   There  really  was.   But, 

obviously,  there  were  competent  people  who  worked  down  there, 
many  of  whom  were  his  proteges.   For  instance  Joe  Cerrell,  who, 
you  know,  is  still  in,  and  well  respected,  in  the  campaign 
business.   He  was  a  young  Democrat  when  Bradley  found  him 
in  a  '57  campaign.   Let's  see,  there's  Lee,  now  Cerrell 's  wife — 

Morris:     His  wife  would  campaign? 

Copertini:  Yes,  right.   She's  worked  for  the  party  since  1958. 

Morris:     Somehow  I  think  of  Mr.  Cerrell  running  special  campaigns,  and 
that  makes  me  think  of  Dick  Tuck.  When  did  he  appear  on  the 

Copertini:   [laughs]   Don  Bradley  had  lived  in  Santa  Barbara.   He  knew 
Tuck  from  his  Santa  Barbara  days.   When  did  he  appear?  He 
was  heartily  entrenched  in  '56,  so  it  was,  maybe,  '54  or  '55 
when  Don  went  to  Santa  Barbara  on  the  Senate  campaign. 

In  '56  we  went  to  Chicago  for  Stevenson.   Dick  was 
along  and  that  was  the  caper  where  Dick  did  the  fake 
convention  badges  that  Life  magazine  eventually  wrote  about — 
because  it  was  more  of  an  honor  to  have  one  of  those  two 
dozen  fake  badges  we  put  together,  than  to  have  the  real  ones, 

Morris:     Oh,  my  goodness. 

Copertini:  He's  a  funny  man  and  clever.  The  badges  were  so  unsophisticated.' 
All  we  did  was  to  go  out  and  get  some  paper  and  a  printer 
to  do  some  italic  lettering  on  it.   I  got  a  fine-point 
pen  and  a  bottle  of  red  ink  and  drew  a  red  border.   I  was  in 
charge  of  drawing  the  union  labels,  and  they  got  bigger  and 
bigger,  until  they  looked  like  beetles  [laughs].   And  we  took 
them  out  and  plasticized  them,  because  we  didn't  have  enough 
credentials  and  they  passed,  clumsy  as  they  were. 

Morris:     This  was  for  Stevenson? 
Copertini:  That  was  for  Stevenson,  yes. 

Morris:     This  was  because  Stevenson  was  having  trouble  getting  his 
delegates  on  the  convention  floor? 

Copertini:   Only  because  of  the  size  of  the  California  delegation  when 

you  attempted  to  accommodate  uncredentialed  staff  and  visitors. 
There  are  always  more  people  than  you  have  tickets.   So  we  made 
these  phony  badges.   The  news  crews  picked  it  up  and  wrote 
about  it.  As  I  say,  it  finally  ended  up  in  Life  magazine. 
Humor  was  good  and  even  the  convention  chair  appeared  on  the 
podium  wearing  one  of  these  collector's  items.  That  was 
Tuck's  first  recognized  effort! 


Morris:     Had  Dick  been  a  student  at  Santa  Barbara? 

Copertini:   I  don't  know,  but  he  had  been  a  Coro  intern  although  he  was  a 
few  years  away  from  that. 

Morris:     Right.   That's  interesting.   Was  the  Coro  Foundation  a 

good  place  to  look  for  bright  new  talent?*  Or  was  it  just 
by  accident? 

Copertini:   Some  wonderful  people  have  come  from  Coro — notably  Libby 

Smith  (Gatov)  the  U.S.  Treasurer  under  Kennedy,  and  Dianne 
Feinstein,  present  mayor  of  San  Francisco,  just  for  starters. 

My  initial  feeling  about  it  when  I'd  had  interns  before 
was  that  they  always  came  in  to  find  out  what  you  were  doing 
wrong  rather  than  to  learn.   In  fairness,  they  didn't  have 
a  great  deal  of  time  with  us  in  campaigns,  so  they  didn't  handle 
anything  with  a  lot  of  teeth  in  it. 

There  was  a  major  change  in  1954,  though,  when  we  got 
two  people  who  really  became  family.   One  was  Tom  Bendorf  and 
the  other,  Mary  Farrell.   Bendorf  was  given  tasks  with  great 
responsibility  and  stayed  on  to  volunteer  even  after  his 
stint  with  us,  through  Coro,  was  finished.   He  went  on  to 
Washington  where  he  worked  for  Senator  Clair  Engle  and  has 
held  other  positions  of  note  in  and  around  government. 

Mary  Farrell  suffered  from  what  was  the  woman's  dilemma 
of  those  years.   While  very  much  interested  and  wanting  to  be 
there  she  complained  she  was  never  given  anything  to  do  but 
typing.   It  was  one  of  the  earliest  complaints  I'd  heard  on 
that  score  and  quite  justified.   Most  women  just  assumed  that 
the  men  were  going  to  get  the  more  interesting  assignments,  such 
as  field  work,  and  the  higher  pay  and  that  they  would  do  office 
chores . 

Morris:     And  this  was  in  the  '50s? 

Copertini:   This  was  in  1954.   That  year  they  came  on  as  interns  in  the 
campaign  of  a  man  named  Richard  Graves,  who  was  running 
for  governor. 

*San  Francisco  public  affairs  internship  program. 

Morris:     Of  course.* 

Copertini:   I  just  found  some  of  his  campaign  matchbooks.   They  said, 
"We  dig  Graves.   He's  the  most."  Can  you  believe  it? 

Morris:     Was  that  the  kind  of  a  campaign  that,  within  the  central 

committee,  there  was  the  thought  that  he  really  had  a  chance  of 
winning,  or  was  it  more  of  a  place  holding  kind  of  a  thing? 
I've  heard  the  suggestion  it  wasn't  a  good  year  for  Democrats, 
so  Pat  Brown  didn't  want  to  run. 

Copertini:   There  was  hardly  anybody  who  [laughs]  wanted  to  run,  and  Graves, 
until  just  a  few  months  before  he  was  asked  to  do  it,  was  a 
Republican.   But  you  hype  yourself  up,  and  you  get  so  immersed 
in  it  that  you  don't  really  ever  think  you're  going  to  lose. 
You  know,  you  get  three  good  letters  in  a  row,  and  you  think, 
hey,  we've  got  it  made. 

He  was  running  against  Goodwin  Knight,  and  there  were  some 
unfavorable  things  in  Knight's  record  that  were  thought  would 
be  to  his  detriment  and  give  Graves  his  chance.   You  have  to 
remember  I  was  enthusiatic  and  starry-eyed.   These  realists — 
they  didn't  confide  in  me  if  they  thought  that  he  was  going 
to  lose. 

Building  a  Volunteer  Base 

Morris:     Could  we  talk  a  little  bit  about  using  volunteers?  When  did 
you  begin  to  be  aware  that  there  were  more  people  around  to 
do  fundraising,  and  letter  stuffing,  and — 

Copertini:   Well,  again,  under  the  Malone  regime,  the  attitude  was  more — 
and  I  don't  mean  to  denigrate  it,  it's  just  the  way  that 
things  were  then — you  know,  keep  this  place  neat,  don't  let 
all  these  people  in.   You  sent  letters  out  to  a  letter  shop  and 

*See  Richard  Graves,  Theoretician,  Advocate,  and  Candidate  in 
California  State  Government,  Regional  Oral  History  Office, 
University  of  California,  Berkeley,  1973. 


Copertini:   got  them  back  all  tidy  and  ready  to  go.   The  volunteer  movement 
started  rolling  under  Miller,  I  guess,  and  it  came  full  bloom 
with  what  we  learned  when  CDC  was  organized  and  when  Roger 
[Kent]  became  state  party  chairman.   Don  was  executive 
secretary  of  the  party  then,  and  the  thing  that  he  drummed 
into  us  when  we  were  there,  over,  and  over,  and  over  again, 
was  inclusion;  inclusion.   And  God  forbid  if  you  turned 
somebody  away  who  wanted  to  help,  or  if  you  didn't  have 
something  for  them  to  do. 

We  used  to  have  a  standing  joke  about  the  box  of  three- 
by-five  file  cards.   If  somebody  came  in  and  said,  "I  want  to 
help,"  well  you  went  out  and  took  the  three-by-five  cards 
in  the  back  room  and  brought  them  out  and  said,  "Please 
alphabetize  these,"  if  you  didn't  have  anything  else  for  them 
to  do.   It's  a  joke  you  can't  always  tell,  because  people  don't 
like  to  think  that,  maybe,  their  time  hasn't  been  well  used. 
But  on  the  other  hand,  if  somebody  comes  in,  and  there  really 
isn't  anything  at  that  moment,  you  don't  want  them  to  go, 
you  want  to  say,  "Sit  down.   Here,  this  needs  doing  right 
away,  I'm  glad  you  arrived.   You're  needed."   So  that's  what 
we'd  do  in  an  emergency,  but  we  didn't  do  it  much,  because 
usually  there  was  plenty  to  do. 

Morris:     Once  you  get  into  a  campaign.   And  people  don't  turn  up  in 
between  campaigns,  is  that  right? 

Copertini:   Well,  there  was  hardly  ever  an  in  between,  because  with  the 

development  of  the  CDC,  when  one  thing  was  over,  something  else 
was  starting.   For  instance,  while  people  from  the  state 
central  committee  were  away  at  campaign  headquarters,  there 
was  also  an  effort  called  "Dollars  for  Democrats,"  that  came 
out  in  '60,  that  was  run  out  of  the  permanent  state  and  CDC 
headquarters.   That  required  bodies.   There  were  the  CDC 
conventions  that  came  up  annually:   Democratic  state  central 
committee  conventions  and  meetings  and  fundraising,  so  there 
was  always  enough  to  do.   We  started — I  think  around  '55,  '56, 
to  put  out  a  monthly  newsletter,  and  that  newsletter  was 
like  1,500.   And  we  had,  I  mean,  zero  equipment.   We  had  a 
mimeograph  machine,  and  we  had  dupli-stickers  that  we  did  by 
hand  and  postage  that  we  applied  by  hand,  and  we  licked  and 
stuffed  and  sealed  and  sorted. 

And  these  went  out  monthly.   You  no  sooner  finished  one 
than  you  were  in  the  throes  of  doing  it  again.   There  were 
two  staffers:   the  regular  staff  secretary  for  the  state 
central  committee,  and  the  CDC  secretary.   So  help  was  always 
needed  and  with  this  inclusion  policy — 


Morris:     And  this  was  when  they  were  sharing  office  space,  212  Sutter 

Copertini:   Yes. 

Morris:     How  did  that  work  out? 

Copertini:   There  was  an  earlier  address  when  we  were  newly  formed,  and  it 
was  so  successful  we  both  got  too  big  for  it.   It  was  six- 
something  Market.   It  worked  out  just  fine.   It  worked  out  just 
fine.   It  was  very  necessary  that  we  did  share  office  space, 
because  I  think  if  the  CDC  had  gone  off  on  its  own,  the  story 
would  have  been  quite  different.   Without  any  contact,  or  with 
just  casual  contact  with  the  state  central  committee,  there 
could  have  been  cross  purposes  or  even  animosities.   You  know, 
struggle  over  turf  and  all.   In  this  way  each  was  consulted  and 
knew  exactly  what  the  other  was  doing,  each  was  involved  with 
what  the  other  was  doing.   When  it  came  convention  time,  or 
delegate  selection  time,  each  worked  cooperatively  for  the  very 
best  of  the  party.   And  Roger  was  as  warm  and  friendly  and 
interested  in  the  CDC  as  he  was  in  the  state  central  committee. 

Morris:     It  sounds  like  he  may  have  encouraged  the  founding  of  CDC. 

Copertini:   Well,  he  was  one.   It  happened  under  George  Miller,  and  Alan 
Cranston  was  monumentally  important  to  it. 

Morris:     Yes,  he's  often  spoken  of  as  the  founder  in  order  to  further 
his  own  political  career. 

Copertini:   Whatever  the  reason,  it  was  a  very  good  move  for  the  party. 
Morris:     Yes. 

Copertini:   I  remember  the  times  we  still  had  cross-filing  and,  you  know, 

we  were  losing  elections  right  and  left.   So  this  helped  in  that 
you  could  identify  candidates  and  say,  hey,  this  is  the  endorsed 
Democrat,  stay  with  it.   See,  you  couldn't  put  the  party 
designation  on  in  the  primaries.   So  that  gave  a' way,  an 
endorsement  of  the  California  Democratic  Council,  to  validate 
the  candidacy  as  a  Democrat. 

And  then,  after  Stevenson  lost  in  '52,  there  was  such  a 
continuation  of  the  outpouring  of  interest  from  everyone, 
particularly  young  people  who  had  found  out  a  little  bit  about 
campaigning,  cared  about  who  was  going  to  run  the  country,  and 


Copertini:   never  went  home  again.   The  older,  pre-war  generation  had 

been  more  quiet  during  the  Eisenhower  years.   But  now,  these 
young  people  just — God,  they  were  like  bees  coming  out  of  a 
hive,  they  were  wonderful. 

You  know,  Jack  Kennedy  is  credited  with  inspiring  this 
activity  of  volunteers  and  youth  in  politics,  but  it  wasn't 
really  he.   It  started  with  Stevenson.   It  was  ready  for 
Kennedy  to  make  use  of  when  his  time  came,  but  if  we  were 
just  to  get  started  then,  we  might  not  have  been  ready.   Without 
this  earlier  awakening  of  interest  we  might  not  have  been  able 
to  make  the  effort  that  we  did  to  elect  a  president  in  1960. 

Morris:     I'm  trying  to  get  a  picture  of  what  it  was  like.   The  people 

turned  out  for  Stevenson  meetings,  or  they  came  to  work  on  his 
campaign  in  numbers  that  you  hadn't  had  before? 

Copertini:   Those  things  are  true.   They  not  only  came  to  but  helped  on  the 
rallies  that  we  gave,  the  public  things,  the  street  events. 
Even  raised  money  to  help  candidates.   But  more  than  that, 
they  joined  the  clubs,  so  that  they  could  have  some  continuing 
voice  in  politics,  necessary  because  the  state  central  committee— 
you're  aware  that  the  appointment  process  was  not  structured 
so  that  everybody  might  get  in. 

Morris:     You  have  to  be  appointed. 

Copertini:   You  have  to  be  appointed  by  a  legislator,  yes.   But  in  the  clubs, 
anybody  could  get  in,  and  they  did.   The  clubs  were  very,  very 

Morris:     You  said  the  newsletter  was  a  1,500  mailing. 

Copertini:   That  was  the  state  central  committee  newsletter.   The  CDC 

probably  had  much  the  same  thing.   There  was  always  some  kind 
of  a  mailing,  something  going  on.   If  it  was  a  quiet  time,  then 
you  quick  put  together  a  fundraiser,  because,  well,  you  always 
needed  money  too. 

Morris:  And  the  fundraisers  that  you  worked  on,  were  these  the  ones  to 
get  a  lot  of  people  giving  at  a  lower  price,  or  were  these  the 
$500  dinner  kinds  of  things? 

Copertini:   Well,  it  could  be  both.   In  those  days,  it  wasn't  $500;  I  don't 
think  we  ever  got  above  $100,  and  that  was  very  daring.   There 
were  both,  and  I  worked  on  both  and  they  were  traditional  and 


Copertini:   in  San  Francisco  always.   Others  were  considered — like  more 
rallies  and  you  tried  to  have  events  that  people  of  every 
financial  level  could  participate  in. 

We  did  try  to  do  a  traditional  Jefferson- Jackson  dinner  in 
the  fairgrounds  in  San  Mateo,  and  it  just  didn't  work.   You'd 
be  surprised  how  attached  people  are  to  the  old  formulas.   You 
can  have  a  variety  of  fundraisers  to  this  day,  but  nothing 
succeeds  like  the  events  in  one  of  five  city  hotels  where 
everybody  gets  dressed  up  and  is  seen,  and  seeing.   Really. 

Morris:     That's  interesting.   Even  though  it's  the  same  people — ? 

Copertini:   Even  though  it's  the  same  people.   They  don't  recognize  it  as 

official  unless  it  goes  this  route.   And  now,  of  course,  they've 
gotten  smaller  and  more  expensive  and  all,  but  the  mayor  still 
does  it,  and  we're  having  one  in  June.   When  it  comes  to  the 
raising  masses  of  money,  (and  it's  also  a  show  of  strength)  the 
reception  or  dinner  formula  is  tried  and  true.   But  other 
things  that  have  been  tried — theatre  parties,  auctions,  any 
number  of  things — it  doesn't  work. 

Morris:     Isn't  that  interesting.   Even  though  there  have  come  to  be  some 
very  talented  women  who  specialize  just  in  doing  fundraisers. 

Copertini:   And  mostly  what  they  do  is  this  traditional  format.   In  the  city 
here,  the  oldest  is  Madlyn  Day,  who  taught  me  everything  I  know 
about  it.   She  worked  for  Senator  Downey  and  had  an  office 
across  the  street  from  Malone,  and,  you  know,  I  had  contact  with 
her.   Later  on  she,  too,  worked  for  the  party,  then  specialized 
in  fundraising  and  is  still  doing  it.   She's  been  doing  it  since 
1940,  or  earlier. 

Morris:     And  isn't  Anne  Eliaser — ? 

Copertini:   Anne  Eliaser,  who  was  National  Commit teewoman.   I  don't  think 

she  takes  politics  so  much  any  more.   But  her  firm  does  its  share 
with  fundraising  dinners,  and  the  formula  is  true;  it  just  abides, 

Women  and  Politics  in  the  Fifties 

Morris:     How  about  women?  You  said  when  you  started,  it  didn't  even 
occur  to  you  to  do  anything  but  make  the  coffee  and  type. 


Copertini:   Well,  as  a  paid  employee.   Certainly  there  were  women's 

committees  and  women  who  shared  leadership  for  the  party. 
Elected  party  officials  Elinor  Heller  (national  committeewoman) 
and  Julia  Porter,  women's  chair  of  the  Democratic  state  central 
committee,  are  two  who  were  active  when  I  came  in,  and  later,  of 
course,  Libby  Smith.   A  candidate  was  Helen  Gahagan  Douglas 
who  ran  for  Senate  in  1950. 

Women  were  always  recognized  and  the  election  laws  were 
set  up  so  that  the  legislator  who  had  appointments  to  the 
state  central  committee  had  to  make  them  50-50,  resulting  in 
lots  of  men  walking  around  with  their  wives'  proxies! 

Morris:     Did  you  work  on  the  Helen  Gahagan  Douglas  campaign? 

Copertini:   Not  directly.   I  was  in  the  state  central  committee  head 
quarters  at  that  time.   Don  was,  but  I  wasn't.   That  was 
the  year  I'd  had  a  baby,  so  I  didn't  work  in  a  primary  but 
came  back  in  the  fall. 

Morris:  That  was  your  year  off. 

Copertini:  Yes,  eight  months.   I  came  back,  I  think,  in  August. 

Morris:  Oh,  that's  wonderful.   Did  you  bring  the  baby  with  you? 

Copertini:  At  times  [laughs],  at  times. 

Morris:     That's  marvelous.   Okay,  then,  my  question  about  Helen 

Gahagan  Douglas'  reception  as  a  woman  and  how  the  central 
committee  felt  about  the  red  smear  kinds  of  things.   You 
wouldn't  have  heard  about — ? 

Copertini:   Well,  we  were  outraged  about  the  red  smear,  and  they  liked 
her.   They  certainly  liked  her  as  a  person  but  there  were 
many,  even  other  women,  who  were  critical  of  her  running, 
feeling  that  a  woman  candidate  was  not  electable.   Persons 
who  would  never  want  a  woman — any  woman.   And  the  traditional 
party  in  San  Francisco,  under  Bill  Malone's  leadership, 
had  been  attracted  to  Manchester  Boddy  rather  than  Douglas. 
However,  Douglas  was  nominated  and  a  very  good  effort  was 
made  to  elect  her.   However,  it  was  with  newer,  emerging 
people — younger,  more  liberal.   Again,  Bradley  ran  that 
campaign.   It  was  right  after  he'd  worked  for  Jack  Shelley's 
election  to  Congress. 


Morris:     Right.   Okay,  going  back  in  time;  the  212  Gang.   Were  you 
pretty  much  the  same  people  over  the  years,  or  were  new 
people  added? 

Copertini:   Yes,  pretty  much  the  same  nucleus.   There  was  Roger  for  the 

state  central  committee,  there  was  Don,  there  was  a  wonderful 
man  named  Van  Dempsey,  a  field  organizer.   There  was  Martin 
Huff,  who  was  treasurer  of  everything  and  crossed  lines  to 
be  enormously  involved  with  both  DSCC  and  CDC.   There  were 
two  women  who  served,  successively,  as  secretary  for  the 
state  committee  during  these  years,  and  a  CDC  secretary. 
Then,  of  course,  those  of  us  who  were  hired  for  campaigns, 
fundraisers  and  other  special  events.  ## 

Morris:     Did  they  by  and  large  have  the'  same  ideas  in  the  group,  or 
was  it  just  that  you  were  all  in  touch  with  each  other, 
saying,  what  can  we  do  next,  or  where  is  the  need  that 
we  can  do  something  about? 

Copertini:   We  never  had  to  stop  and  think  "what  will  we  do  next." 

There  was  always  something.   A  campaign  ran  into  a  fundraiser, 
which  ran  into  a  convention  or  conference  leading  to  a 
campaign,  and  so  on.  We  were  all  pretty  compatible  in  our 
thinking  and  in  our  preferences  of  candidates  and  issues. 
We  were,  or  we  wouldn't  have  been  there.   If  you  didn't 
agree  philosophically  with  what  was  being  done,  you  couldn't 
stand  being  there.   Working  was  enormous  fun,  but  it  also 
took  a  great  deal  of  your  time,  your  energy,  and  your  emotion. 

Morris:     Where  had  he  and  Don  gotten  interested  in  this  idea  of 
inclusion,  including  more  and  more  people  in  the — ? 

Copertini:   I  think  Roger,  as  a  candidate — he  ran  for  Congress  a  couple 
of  times — sometimes  felt  shut  out  by  the  old  order.   Don 
had  learned  his  politics  as  a  very  young  man  on  the  waterfront 
where  numbers  as  a  show  of  strength  was  important.   If  there 
was  any  lesson  learned  there  it  was  that  everyone  was  needed; 
you  don't  lose  anybody  if  you  can  help  it.   And  he  saw  it 
worked.   Then  during  the  time  that  he  was  formulating 
opinions  about  the  work  of  the  state  central  committee 
and  accepting  a  leadership  role  himself,  I  think  he  was 
told  by  a  lot  of  people  that  the  party  was  a  "closed 
corporation" — you  weren't  allowed  to  be  involved.   I  think 
he  wanted  to  make  sure  that  never  happened.   He  recognized 
the  need  and  value  of  manpower  but  more  than  that  the  RIGHT 
of  people  to  have  a  voice  in  the  affairs  of  their  party. 


The  Triumphant  Era  of  Pat  Brown 

Morris:     Everything  seems  to  have  come  together  about  '58  when  Pat 
Brown  was  elected  and — 

Copertini:   Oh,  yes.   It  was  just  a  triumphant  year. 

Morris:     And  then,  did  Pat  take  an  active  part  in  what  was  going 
on  at  the  central  committee? 

Copertini:   Not  in  the  day-to-day  workings;  elected  officials  don't. 
But  certainly  in  the  negotiations  and  -decisions.   He  was 
the  highest  elected  Democratic  official  as  attorney 
general  and  ran  and  became  governor.   That  year  there  had 
been  three  or  four-good  sized  campaigns;  three  of  them 
housed  under  one  roof,  a  building  up  the  street  from  212. 
Brown  was  down  on  Market  in  a  building  they  called  "The 
Gore"  and  together  with  him  were  Engle  for  Senator,  Mosk 
for  Attorney  General  and  Bert  Betts  for  Treasurer. 

These  took  a  hefty  amount  of  staff  and  you  draw  from 
every  place  where  you  find  interest.   Help  came  from  the 
CDC;  people  who  left  their  jobs,  took  leaves  of  absence 
to  go  to  work  on  these  campaigns. 

Morris:     Really I 
Copertini:  Yes,  absolutely. 

Morris:     How  can  you  talk  somebody  into  leaving  their  job  for  nine 
months  to  a  year? 

Copertini:   You  didn't  have  to.   They  were  keen  to  do  it.   Those  times 
were  so  exciting,  so  hopeful.  A  case  in  point  is  a  man 
named  Tom  Saunders  who,  over  in  Kensington,  was  an  early 
CDC  club  president.   Professionally  he  was  an  insurance 
safety  consultant  with  a  lot  of  interest  in  politics.   He 
was  able  to  take  time  out  to  go  to  work  on  the  Brown 
campaign  and  then  go  back  to  his  insurance  company.   I  don't 
know  why  they  allowed  this,  but  I  guess  he  was  a  very 
valuable  employee.   He  really  wanted  that  campaign  job. 

Morris:     And  he  did  that  several  times,  over  the  years? 


Copertini:   In  a  way.   After  Brown  won,  Saunders  accepted  a  job  with  the 
state.*  Then  Brown,  the  second  time  around,  asked  him  to 
run  his  campaign  in  the  north,  an  adjunct  to  Don  who  had 
the  statewide  role  but  functioned  out  of  the  south.   So  Tom 
took  a  leave,  I  believe,  or  quit  outright  to  work  on  the 

Ultimately  he  went  back,  after  the  election,  into  a  much 
higher  position. 

Morris:     Into  his  insurance  company? 

Copertini:   No,  no.   In  state  government.   Brown  had  given  him  an 

appointment  after  his  first  campaign.   When  he  left  to  do 
the  second  one  he  returned  to  the  state  in  an  elevated 

Morris:     Then  Brown  lost  him  as  a  campaign  worker. 

Copertini:   Well,  yes.   But  that  doesn't  mean  he  didn't  have  free  time 
to  participate  in  other  ways.   In  '66  he  was  still  with 
the  state  but  he  would  take  vacation  and  other  accrued  time 
for  special  field  trips  or  projects  or  whatever.   And  he  was 
around  the  headquarters  a  great  deal  evenings  and  weekends. 

You  stacked  up  all  your  vacation  and  comp  time  and  used 
it  for  the  campaign.   I  want  to  tell  you,  if  you  offered 
such  people  a  trip  to  Tahiti — anybody  who  was  in  this 
generation  of  the  212  Gang — they  would  much,  much  rather 
have  spent  the  time  on  the  campaign.   Absolutely.   I  used 
to  get  up  in  a  morning  and  think  how  lucky  I  was.   I'd  say, 
"You  know,  I'd  go  if  I  never  earned  a  cent."  And  sometimes 
in  the  early  days  that  was  the  case.   I  was  paid  in  postage 
stamps  or  whatever  was  left  at  the  end  of  the  campaign, 
if  it  wasn't  a  good  one,  meaning  prosperous.   The  Clinton 
McKinnon  campaign  is  a  prime  example. 

*As  a  member  of  the  state  Industrial  Accident  Commission 
panel  in  San  Francisco  in  1963. 


The  Turbulent  Sixties 

Morris:     Were  things  beginning  to  change,  about  '64,  '65? 

Copertini:   Yes,  yes.   The  attack  on  Kennedy  hit  everybody  really  hard. 
In  early  '63  we  were  going  to  a  CDC  convention  and  we  all 
said,  "What  will  we  DO  next  year?  Kennedy's  going  to  be 
reelected  and  so  is  Engle."  And  six  months  later  Engle 
was  suffering  from  a  brain  tumor  and  Kennedy  was  dead! 
So  that  put  us  into  '64. 

At  the  CDC  convention  that  year  the  crowd  voted 
handsomely  for  Cranston,  but  there  were  those  who  felt 
that  there  wasn't  any  real  opposition  and  they  would  have 
liked  to  see  some  other  choice.   Then  Pierre  Salinger  found 
that  he  could  run  for  Congress,  that  he  didn't  need  to  reside 
in  the  district,  so  he  ran. 

And  Don  and  I  went  with  Pierre  which,  probably,  was 
not  the  best  thing  we  could  have  done,  to  say  the  least.   We 
had  both  been  involved  in  putting  together  the  delegation 
for  the  National  Democratic  convention  in  Atlantic  City.   So, 
of  course,  taking  on  Salinger  meant  we  moved  from  the  official 
party  headquarters  and  others  took  on  that  task.   After 
Pierre  won  the  primary,  Roger  Kent,  in  a  great  demonstration 
of  genuine  desire  to  see  "the  family"  be  put  back  together — 
because  there  were  residual  feelings  that  win  or  lose  it  was 
wrong  to  have  supported  Salinger — involved  Don  and  me  in  the 
business  of  bringing  California's  delegation  to  the  convention. 
We  were  working  with  a  lot  of  the  other  people  who  had 
stayed  with  the  state  committee  and  had  been  with  Cranston, 
too,  so  we  had  to  work  hard  to  make  an  amalgam  there. 

Further,  Don  was  taken  off  the  Salinger  campaign  and 
put  into  running  Lyndon  Johnson's  campaign  out  of  the  south, 
which  might  have  contributed  to  the  defeat  of  Salinger 
because  Don  was  just  not  able  to  participate  as  much  as 
he  was  needed. 

Again,  Tom  Saunders  got  a  leave  somehow — I  don't  know, 
but  all  very  legal — and  ran  the  Johnson  campaign  up  here. 

Morris:     By  then  there's  the  beginning  of  the  legislative  campaign 
committees,  too. 


Copertini:   Yes.   I  think  '65  was  the  year  that  Si  Casady  ran  as 

president  of  the  California  Democratic  Council  and  left  a 
lot  of  people  disenchanted  with  the  result. 

Morris:     Well,  was  it  Casady  himself  or  was  it  the  anti-Vietnam 
concern  that  caused  the  trouble? 

Copertini:   Casady  was  not  too  familiar  a  figure  in  the  north,  at 

least,  and  the  anti-Vietnam  views  were  certainly  part  of  it. 
I  wasn't  that  close  to  it  and  I  really  can't  answer,  but, 
again,  it  disenchanted  a  lot  of  CDC  regulars. 

Then  something  else  was  happening.   A  lot  of  the  people 
who  were  involved  and  who  were  even  part  of  the  Roger  Kent 
years  were  getting  tired  at  that  time.   Don't  forget  that 
Roger  was  chair  for  over  ten  years  now,  and  in  addition  to 
the  toll  that  takes  he  felt  our  losses  keenly.   Kennedy 
had  died;  Engle,  a  good  friend,  had  died;  then  later  that 
year  we  lost  Adlai  Stevenson,  too.   It  seemed  to  take  some  of 
the  heart  out  of  Roger. 

Morris:     That  must  really  have  been  a  shock  to  people  from  the  group. 

Copertini:   Yes.   But  Roger  stayed  on  for  a  while.   He  gave  some  thought 
to  retiring  and  tried  to  persuade  Bill  Orrick  to  run  because 
he  thought  he'd  be  someone  who  would  be  able  to  mend  the 
wounds  between  CDC's  Cranston  and  the  Salinger  forces.   But 
Orrick  didn't  want  to  run. 

Morris:     Oh,  yes.   He'd  been  doing  fundraising  for  the  party. 

Copertini:   Yes,  right.   And  more  than  that.   He'd  been  campaign  chair 
for  several  campaigns  and  held  other  significant  roles. 

Morris:     Well,  it's  sort  of  odd.   Roger  went  over  to  become  a  chairman 
in  Pat  Brown's  reelection  campaign  in  '66,  but  somehow 
that  doesn't  ring  quite  right.   It  sounds  like  there  were 
some  people  who  were  also  trying  to  ease  Roger  out  gracefully- 

Copertini:   Oh,  no,  no.   I  don't  think  so.   Aside  from  having  had  the 
party  responsibility  for  so  long,  he  had  monumental  health 
problems.   He  had  emphysema  and  a  very  bad  and  painful  hip 
problem.   And  he  was  tired  and  missed  those  we  had  lost 
through  death. 


Morris:     He  had  been  at  it  for  ten  years. 

Copertini:   Eleven.   He  used  to  leave  his  law  practice  and  come  over 
to  headquarters  almost  every  day.   And  he  traveled  a  lot, 
and  you  know,  was  well  met.   He  was  a  vital  part  of  any 
group  he  saw,  and  it  wasn't  bed  at  eight  o'clock:  it  was 
two,  or  three  in  the  morning  or  whatever  time  he  went — if 
he  went.   And  he  had  traveled  to  Washington  a  lot. 

I  think  he  was  ready  to  quit.   But  he  stayed  on  to 
accomplish  all  he  could  accomplish.   So  he  retired.   But 
then,  you  know,  when  your  old  friend  Pat  gets  you  on  the 
phone  and  says,  "Hey,  I  need  you — "  Being  chair  of  the 
campaign  gave  him  just  the  right  amount  of  involvement  with 
out  having  responsibility  for  the  entire  party. 

Morris:     Right.   Well,  you  need  people  you  can  call  on  and  say  "why 

did  we  do  what  we  did?"  Who  were  the  people  of  the  212  Gang 
or  newcomers — who  had  that  same  kind  of  dedication  to 
politics  and  to  the  good  of  the  Democratic  party? 

Copertini:   There  were  many — out  of  the  clubs,  legislators,  fundraisers 

and  people  who  made  themselves  close-in  friends  of  the  office, 
And  our  "out  of  the  office"  authority — Van  Dempsey.   He  was 
the  field  representative,  the  second  spot  in  the  office, 
and  he  was  much  beloved. 



He  had  a  completely  different  style  from  Don,  who  dealt 
mainly  with  the  legislators  and  people  in  authority.   Van 
went  from  county  to  county  visiting  people  in  small 
communities  in  small  numbers  over  and  over  and  over  again. 
He  was  much  beloved  and  thoroughly  dedicated  and  stayed  on 
until  it  was  necessary  for  chairman  [Robert]  Coate  to  close 
the  headquarters  in  1967  for  lack  of  funds. 

That's  tough  to  recover  from, 
offices  for  ten  years. 

If  you've  had  year-round 


Yes,  well,  even  before  that — even  before  Roger — there  were 
year-round  headquarters.   One  in  the  Sharon  Building  in  the 
very  early  Roosevelt  days,  graduating  to  the  Balboa  Building 
under  Bill  Malone.   All  in  all,  to  my  knowledge  there's  been 
a  headquarters  for  10  years  before  212.   Maybe  longer. 

It  had  been  headquarters,  in  his  office? 


Copertini:   No,  no.   It  was  in  another  place.   It  was  at  2nd  and  Market 
while  Malone  was  nearby  on  Montgomery  Street.   It  was  in  the 
Balboa  Building,  had  glass  all  round  so  that  everyone  was 
visible  and  was  called  "the  fishbowl." 

Morris:     Who  was  it  that  got  the  office  open  again? 

Copertini:   In  '68  Roger  Boas  became  chair  and  he  opened  headquarters. 

Morris:     Now,  had  Boas  been  one  of  the  proteges  of  Roger  and  Don? 

Copertini:   In  1958,  in  the  Engle  campaign,  there  were  three  notable 

volunteers.  One  of  them  became  a  San  Francisco  supervisor, 
Ron  Pelosi.  Another  was  Roger  Boas  who  had  a  deep  interest 
in  seeing  that  California  had  a  Democratic  Senator,  and  the 
third  was — Dianne  Feinstein! 

Morris:     Yes,  you  really  got  them  started. 

Copertini:   I'd  like  to  take  the  credit,  but  they  were  very  much  self- 
starters.   They  really  weren't  very  good  volunteers 
[laughing] — they  didn't  stay  around  too  much.   But  Roger 
Boas  always  had  this  keen  interest  and  he  later  ran  for  office 
himself.   You  know,  he  was  a  supervisor  and  then  ran  for 
Congress.   So  he  certainly  had  a  strong  feeling  for  the  party 
and  brought  much  to  it  by  way  of  knowledge,  experience,  and 
business  sense.   He  was  a  friend  of  Roger's  and  very  friendly 
with  Don.   So  he  became  chair  and  opened  headquarters  in  the 
Orpheum  Building. 

Morris:     That's  about  the  era,  too,  when  you  get  the  big  national  party 
McGovern  reforms.   All  the  business  about  opening  up  delegate 
selection  and  participation. 

Copertini:   You  kind  of  lose  me  there  because  I  did  not  work  for  [George] 
McGovern.   My  inclinations  were  to  [Edmund  S.]  Muskie  and  I 
went  to  work  in  '71  as  the  Northern  California  campaign 
coordinator  and  then  stayed  with  the  campaign  until  it  folded 
in  '72.   Then,  after  it  folded,  I  didn't  want  to  work  for 
McGovern  and  signed  on  with  a  local  candidate—Ron  Pelosi,  who 
was  running  against  State  Senator  Milton  Marks.   I  liked  Ron, 
but  an  equally  compelling  reason  for  doing  this  is  that  Marks, 
a  Republican,  held  a  seat  that  by  every  right  should  have  been 


Morris:     What  was  the  central  committee's  involvement  in,  or  response 
to,  the  business  about  changing  the  delegate  selection  to  the 

Copertini:   For  details,  you'll  have  to  go  elsewhere.   I  wasn't  a  part  of 
it.   But  I  can't  think  that  it  made  that  much  of  a  difference 
in  California.   We  had  always  been  concerned  about  what  we 
called  a  "balanced"  delegation. 

Morris:     Okay,  and  how  has  that  affected  later  campaigns? 

Copertini:   I  really  don't  know  except  to  conclude  that  there  were  now 

official  and  maybe  slightly  more  stringent  rules  for  what  we 
had  always  sought  to  achieve  in  the  way  of  fair  representation 
on  the  delegations. 

In  1967  the  same  Tom  Saunders  I've  told  you  about  and  I 
went  to  work  together  in  the  Joe  Alioto  mayoral  campaign — 
a  54-day  wonder.   After  Brown  was  defeated  I'd  "retired"  and 
was  volunteering  in  Jack  Shelley's  reelection  campaign  for 
mayor.   He  pulled  out  and  I  went  to  work  for  Alioto.   Tom  was 
campaign  manager.   After  that,  we  decided  to  open  our  own  office. 

Morris:     Did  you?! 

Copertini:   Yes.   We  did  that  for  about  four  years.   One  of  our  first 

accounts,  that  was  in  '68,  was  the  Lyndon  Johnson  delegation. 
Okay,  Lyndon  Johnson  announced  in  March  that  there  wasn't  going 
to  BE  any  more  Lyndon  Johnson.   So  we  hurriedly  put  together 
an  uncommitted  delegation  pledged  to  Thomas  Lynch ,  who  was  the 
ranking  California  Democrat  as  attorney  general.   That  was  the 
fateful  Chicago  year  and  obviously  our  delegation  certainly  did 
not  win. 

As  I  mentioned,  the  procedure  had  been,  at  the  time  we  put 
together  a  delegation,  always  to  keep  an  eye  on  balancing. 
That  was  the  word  we  used  all  the  time,  balance.   So  many 
legislators,  so  many  contributors,  so  much  labor,  so  many  CDC 
representatives,  so  many  women,  and  so  many  of  each  of  the 
minorities.   People  really  sweat  putting  those  delegations 
together  to  try  to  make  all  facets  of  the  party  feel  they  had 
a  stake  in  it  with  a  truly  representative  slate. 

Morris:     How  did  you  start?   Did  you  use  your  three-by-five  cards  from 
the  previous  years? 


Copertini:   Even  better.   After  the  CDC  clubs  started  to  flourish  there 
were  caucuses  called  in  each  of  the  congressional  districts. 
Out  of  that  procedure  came  recommendations  for  delegates  and 
alternates.   Then  the  state  central  committee  would  get  those 
recommendations  back  and,  with  a  selection  committee  (also 
representative),  evaluate  who  had  done  what  that  merited  him/her 
a  spot,  look  at  how  many  at-large  delegate  spaces  you  have  for 
emergencies,  and  then  go  to  work  sifting  and  refining  and 
putting  together  the  delegation. 

Morris:     How  much  weight  do  you  have  to  give  to,  say,  the  governor  or 
the  senator,  if  they're  a  Democrat  who  says,  "I  want  this  guy 
on,  or  I  want  that  guy — ?" 

Copertini:   Oh,  you  listen.   [laughs]   Usually  it's  not  unreasonable, 

Morris:     Is  there  fierce  competition  for  those  delegate  slots? 
Copertini:   When  I  was  involved,  yes. 

Morris:     And  what  happens  if — presumably — there's  another  group 
somewhere  working  on  another  delegation  for  another 
candidate?   Do  you  have  any  contact  with  them,  or  any 
forced  trading? 

Copertini:   Not  trading.   But  you  would  try  to  persuade  those  you  felt 
should  be  part  of  what  you  were  doing  and  who  would  be  an 
asset  to  the  delegation  to  see  it  your  way. 

In  any  event,  the  balance  was  operative.   And  it  took 
many,  many  hours  of  very  precise  work  to  get  it  to  be 

Morris:     And  how  many  of  those  people  usually  ended  up  being  able  to  go 
to  the  convention? 

Copertini:   Virtually  all  who  were  chosen,  plus  families  and  children  and 

whatever.   So  you  were  dealing  with  a  horde  of  people:   you  were 
dealing  with  six,  seven  hundred  people  when  you  took  a  California 
delegation  to  a  convention.   It's  true  that  sometimes  the 
money  was  a  problem  because,  no  matter  where  you  go,  it's 
expensive.   There  were  the  normal  transportation,  hotel,  living, 
.and  entertainment  expenses  plus  a  $100  delegate  fee  for 
financing  the  operation — you  know,  organizational  staff, 
convention  headquarters  room,  printed  materials.   But  that  was 
little  enough  and  people  who  applied  managed  to  make  it. 

Copertini:   I  think  in  later  years,  just  about  as  I  was  doing  other  things, 
there  were  fundraisers  to  make  it  possible  for  people  who 
didn't  have  the  money  to  go.   This  was  desirable  because  a 
lot  of  younger  people  were  now  on  delegations  and  simply  didn't 
have  the  means . 

Morris:     Special  events  to  raise  money  for  delegate  expenses. 

I  know  you  have  limited  time,  could  we  spend  a  couple  of 
minutes  on  voter  registration,  if  that  was  something  that 
you  spent  a  lot  of  time  on,  or  was  important  to  Roger  and  Don. 

Copertini:   It  was  very  important;  it  was  essential.   Somebody  in  the 

state  central  committee  would  be  assigned  to  organize  it  and 
there  would  be  chairs  in  each  county.   Much  aid  was  provided 
and  close  track  kept.   The  voter  registration  expert  in  San 
Francisco  was  and  is,  although  he  is  now  "retired"  Agar 
Jaicks  who  was  for  many  years  chair  of  the  county  central 
committee  and  how  he  did  it  so  well  for  so  long  is  his  story 
to  tell. 

Morris:     I'll  remember  that. 

Copertini:   The  county  central  committee  were  the  people  who  got  the 
troops  for  that,  largely  from  CDC  club  members.   And  we 
managed  to  find  a  little  money  here  and  there  to  pay  deputy 
registrars  15c  a  name.   Most  of  them  put  it  back  into  their 
club  or  a  favored  campaign.   Maybe  registrars  are  still  getting 
something,  I  don't  know. 

Morris:     It's  up  to  fifty  cents  a  name.   You  hear  that  in  some  cases 
candidates  who  are  sending  out  registration  people  pay  a 
dollar  or  more. 

Copertini:   Really,  we  were  marvellously  organized.   Obviously  you  can't 
turn  anybody  away  who  wants  to  register,  but  you  sure  knew 
where  to  go  where  the  people  you  register  will  be  the 
people  who  are  likely  to  vote  as  you'd  wish.   There's  a  whole 
science  to  it.   As  I  say,  it  was  happening  around  me,  but 
I  never  participated  directly.   It  obviously  couldn't  be 
operated  from  a  campaign  headquarters. 

Morris:     That  wasn't  one  of  your  specialties. 
Copertini:   No. 


Conclusion:   Constant  Ideas  and  Major  Changes 

Morris:     I  have  a  wrap-up  question.   It  has  two  parts.   One  is, 
whether  the  ideas  from  Roger  and  Don's  heyday  are  still 
important,  and  what  kinds  of  things  have  been  the  major 
changes  in  the  central  committee's  activities? 

Copertini:   I  can  answer  only  part  of  that.   I'm  so  removed  from  the 
operation  of  either  of  the  official  committees  now. 

As  regard  what  was  left  from  Roger  and  Don:   I  think  what 
they  began  in  the  fifties  stood  the  party  in  good  stead  and 
does  still  today.   They  involved  PEOPLE  rather  than  relying 
on  just  media.   Because  you  erred  on  the  side  of  generosity, 
of  sane  liberalism,  and  the  inclusion  of  as  many  people  and 
tolerance  of  as  many  ideas  as  you  possibly  could.   The  party 
belonged  to  everybody  and  if  a  point  of  view  other  that 
that  of  the  leadership  prevailed,  so  be  it.   You  worked  darn 
hard  to  make  sure  it  didn't,  but  you  went  with  it.   It's 
everybody's  party.   That  was  the  abiding  thing  and  it 
characterized  the  whole  era. 

Morris:     Do  you  get  the  feeling  that  that  is  less  so  now  than  it  was 
twenty  years  ago? 

Copertini:   No,  but  I  think  a  couple  of  things  have  changed.   I  don't 
feel  that  there  is  the  strong  leadership  that  we  had  under 
Roger.   I  don't  think  there  is  the  fundraising  capability 
that  there  was  on  an  ongoing  basis.   The  reason  we  were 
able  to  do  the  things  that  were  done  was  because  there  was  an 
ongoing  war  chest.   Money  was  raised  constantly.   Also  people 
were  able  to  contribute  more  freely  and  more  generously.   The 
contribution  laws  have  changed,  with  limitations  and 
restrictions  on  what  you  could  do.   People  back  then  contributed 
in  different  ways — I  don't  know  if  I  should  be  saying  it,  but — 

Morris:     You  can  look  at  the  transcript,  if  you  want  to  change  your  mind. 

Copertini:   I  remember  being  payrolled  at  times  by  different  companies. 
Somebody  would  have  a  business  and  say,  "Well,  I'll  put  one 
of  your  staff  on  my  payroll  as  my  contribution."  So  you  were 
able  to  finance  staff,  campaign  staff,  by  means  which  you 
couldn't  possibly  use  any  more. 

Morris:     Because  it's  a  bigger  operation  now? 


Copertini:   No,  because  of  the  campaign  regulations  and  reporting 

laws  and  because  it's  illegal  to  take  as  a  tax  deduction 
someone  who  hasn't  actually  worked  for  you.   We  were  deprived 
of  another  very  lucrative  source  of  income  when  it  was  ruled 
that  ads  placed  by  businesses  in  campaign  material  or 
fundraising  dinner  programs  were  not  legally  deductible. 

Morris:     I  understand  there  are  still  ways  around  the  payrolling 

restriction  even  within  the  government.   You  carry  somebody 
on  the  Department  of  What-Not,  but  they're  really  assigned 
to  work  for  the  governor. 

Copertini:   Do  you  mean  in  a  governor's  campaign?   That  was  never  all 
right.   As  I  said  before,  people  who  did  this  took  leaves; 
went  off  the  payroll. 

Morris:     It's  considered  good  form  for  a  corporation  to  delegate 

somebody  for  six  months  to  go  to  work  for  the  United  Crusade. 
I  tend  to  think  that  political  party  activity  is  a  special 
kind  of  volunteer  effort. 

Copertini:   Well,  it  is,  but  one  is  altruistic  and  the  other  completely 
in  self-interest,  one  way  or  the  other.   And,  you  know,  it's 
the  thought  that  the  biggest  corporations,  with  the  most 
employees  to  send  out  there  as  contributions  as  well  as  actual 
money,  they're  going  to  be  the  people  who  call  the  elections. 

Morris:     But  nowadays  you  have  a  world  in  which  individuals  in 

significant  corporate  positions  give  money  to  both  candidates 
in  a  race.   If  your  company  is  large  enough,  I  would  think 
you  could  send  two  people — let  one  go  work  for  the  Democrats 
and  one  go  work  for  the  Republicans. 

Copertini:   Well,  it's  a  thought.   But  when  you  win,  you  would  still 

be  reminded  of  where  your  help  came  from  even  though  it  was 
not  special,  not  based  on  principle.   There  has  always  been 
some  sort  of  bet-hedging.   But  payrolling  has  stopped; 
although  if  I 'm  ever  thrown  back  in  the  labor  market ,  I  think 
it  would  be  delightful  to  contemplate  that  it  could  still 
happen.   [laughs]   But  the  reporting  laws,  the  maximum 
contribution  laws  and  Internal  Revenue  have  put  a  stop  to  it. 

Morris:     Am  I  right  that  the  CDC  is  no  longer  a  major  source  of 
volunteers  in  local  political  action? 


Copertini:   It  doesn't  touch  me,  and  maybe  that  is  a  partial  answer  to 
your  question.   Nobody  comes  to  me  and  asks  if  I  will  go  to 
this  place  or  that  to  volunteer.   Nobody  solicits  me  to  join 
a  club.   There  still  are  clubs  that  exist  but  I  don't  think 
the  recruitment  is  anything  like  what  it  used  to  be. 

Morris:     That's  interesting,  that  something  that  was  so  important — 
Copertini:   Yes.   It  was  beautiful,  it  was  just  beautiful. 

Morris:     Everybody  I've  talked  to  who  was  involved  in  the  CDC  talks 
about  it  as  the  Golden  Age  of  political  participation. 

Copertini:   Yes. 

Morris:  The  other  question  is:  Do  you  take  any  time  to  keep  an  eye 
on  what  the  Republicans  are  doing?  Is  there  any  trading  of 
information?  Or  is  that  not  considered  appropriate? 

Copertini:   It's  not  practical  and  could  well  be  detrimental  to  your  own 
cause.   The  danger  of  saying  more  than  you  intend  is  always 
there.   There  may  be  a  couple  of  people  who  are  friends  who 
sit  down  and  have  a  drink  and  talk  politics,  or  even  meet  to 
iron  out  a  point  to  their  mutual  advantage,  but  on  the  whole 
it's  not  appropriate. 

Morris:     Anything  else  that  you  would  like  to  add  about  party  operations 
and  what  works  well? 

Copertini:   Well,  I  think  the  Democrats  throughout  the  country  would  have 
been  in  real  trouble  had  not  Roger  Kent  taken  the  chairmanship 
when  he  did.   California  is  important  to  national  elections. 
After  Truman  declined  to  run  and  Stevenson  lost,  the  party  was 
in  bad  shape.   It  was  deficit-ridden,  people  had  become 
disenchanted  or  tired.   There  was  no  more  patronage,  the  way 
it  had  been  in  Malone's  day,  largely  under  Roosevelt  and  then 
Truman,  for  post  office  jobs  and  the  like.   The  Kefauver 
delegation  won  and  was  considered  by  the  old  guard  to  be  much 
too  liberal.   The  [Eugene]  McCarthy  days  were  troublesome  and 
people  looked  askance  at  Democrats.   But  Roger  Kent,  with  that 
significant  and  eminently  respectable  family  name,  his  record 
of  achievement  in  the  law,  in  the  Navy  and  in  Washington  was 
really  responsible  for  putting  it  back  together. 

He  had  respectability  in  communities  where  none  of  us  ever 
set  foot.   People  from  old  established  families  who  had 
respected  names  and  means  to  raise  and  give  funds.   The  people 
who  came  into  the  party  because  Roger  was  there  would  often 


Copertini:  say  they  were  the  first  Democrat  ever  in  their  families,  and 
they  became  important  to  the  look  and  function  of  the  party. 
I  think  Roger's  election  was  very,  very  important. 

Morris:     Yes.   He  was  somebody  that  everybody  could  look  up  to? 

Copertini:   Exactly.   He  gave  the  party — again,  that  word — respectability 
and  he  gave  it  entree. 

Transcriber:   Johanna  Wolgast 
Final  Typist:  Anne  Schofield 


TAPE  GUIDE  —  Cyr  Copertini 

Date  of  Interview:   April  8,  1986 

tape  1,  side  A  1 

tape  1,  side  B  15 

INDEX  —  Cyr  Copertini 


Alioto,  Joe,   22 
appointments,  by  governor,   17 
assembly  districts,   4 

Bendorf,  Tom,   8 

Betts,  Bert,   16 

Boas,  Roger,   21 

Boddy,,  Manchester,   14 

Bradley,  Don,   5-7,  10,  14,  15,  17, 

19-21,  25 
Brown,  Edmund  G. ,  Sr. ,   9,  16-17,  20 

California  Democratic  Council,   3, 
5,  10-12,  15,  16,  18,  19,  22, 
23,  24,  26-27 

campaign  finances,   2,  5,  10,  12-13, 
15,  17,  19,  20,  23-27 

campaign  management,   1-28,  passim. 

Casady,  Simon,   19 

Cerrell,  Joe,  6 

Cerrell,  Lee,   6-7 

Chow,  Albert,  4 

Chow,  Jack,   4 

Coate,  Robert,   20 

congressional  districts,   23 

Core  Foundation,   8 

Cranston,  Alan,   11,  18 

crossfiling,   11 

Day,  Madlyn,   13 

Democratic  party,  Democrats,   3,  9, 

11,  14,  20-22,  27-28 
Democratic  National  Committee,   4, 

Democratic  National  Conventions, 

delegates,   17,  18,  22-24 
Democratic  State  Central  Committee, 

1,  3-6,  10-12,  14,  15,  16,  19, 

20,  22,  24-25 
Dempsey,  Van,   15,  20 
Dollars  for  Democrats,   10 

Douglas,  Helen  Gahagan,   14 
Downey,  Sheridan,  4 

elections,  1942,  1 

elections,  1944,  2 

elections,  1948,  4-5 

elections,  1950,  14 

elections,  1952,  5-6,  11 

elections,  1954,  8-9 

elections,  1958,  16,  21 

elections,  1960,  12 

elections,  1962,  17 

elections,  1964,  18 

elections,  1966,  17,  19-20 

elections,  1967,  22 

elections,  1968,  22 

elections,  1972,  21 
Eliaser,  Ann,   13 

Engle,  Clair,  8,  16,  18 

Farrell,  Mary,   8 

Feinstein,  Dianne,   8,  13,  21 

Gatov,  Elizabeth  Smith,   8 
Graves,  Richard,   9 

Heller,  Elinor,   14 
Huff,  Martin,   15 

Irish,  in  politics,  4 

Jaicks,  Agar,   24 
Johnson,  Lyndon,   22 


Kennedy,  John  F. ,   12,  18 
Kent,  Roger,  3,  6,  10,  11,  15,  18, 
19-20,  21,  25,  27-28 

Knight,  Goodwin,   9 

labor,  and  politics,  4,  15 

Lapham,  Roger,   3 

legislature,  legislation,   14,  20, 

22,  25-26 
Lynch,  Tom,   22 

Magnin,  Cyril,   2 

Malone,  William,   1-4,  9,  14,  20-21, 


Marks,  Milton,   21 
McKinnon,  Clinton  D. ,   6,  17 
media,   7,  25 

Miller,  George,  Jr.,   5-6,  10,  11 
minorities,  in  politics,   4,  22 
Mullens  family,   2 
Muskie,  Edmund  S. ,   21 

Orrick,  William  H. ,  19 

patronage,   27 
Pelosi,  Ron,   21 
Porter,  Julia,   14 

Reilly,  George  R. ,  3 
Republican  party,  Republicans,   3, 
9,  21,  27 

Tuck,  Dick,   7-8 

volunteers,  in  politics,  3,  8, 

9-14,   16-17,  18,  21,  22,  26-27 
voter  registration,   24 

youth,  and  politics,   8,  11-12,  24 

women,    and  politics,      8,   13-14 

Salinger,  Pierre,   18 

San  Francisco,  politics  in,   1-3, 

13,  21-22,  24 

Saunders,  Thomas  N. ,   16-17,  18,  22 
Shelley,  John,   5,  14,  22 
Stevenson,  Adlai,   11-12 

Regional  Oral  History  Office  University  of  California 

The  Bancroft  Library  Berkeley,  California 

The  Don  L.  Bradley  Memorial  Project 

Martin  Huff 

FRANCHISE  TAX  BOARD,  1952-1979 

An  Interview  Conducted  by 
Gabrielle  Morris 
in  1986 

Copyright  (IT]  1987  by  The  Regents  of  the  University  of  California 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  —  Martin  Huff 





Preliminary  Conversation  1 

Master's  Thesis  on  the  U.S.  Supreme  Court  3 

1952  Election  Bet:  A  Political  Education  4 

Party  Field  Worker  Van  Dempsey  6 

Democratic  Leadership  Figures  9 

The  Kennedy  Campaign:  Oakland  1959  13 


The  Early  Years  18 

Democratic  Party  Activist  20 

Appointment  as  Oakland  Auditor-Controller:  1958  21 

State  Party  Organization,  North  and  South  23 

Working  with  the  Legislature  24 

Unwinnable  Elections  25 

Family  Issues  26 


The  Kennedy  Election  27 

Adlai  Stevenson  and  the  California  Democratic  Committee  29 

Thoughts  on  Political  Career  Building  33 

Party  Divisions  Begin  36 

Single  Issue  Politics  41 


Mr.  Huff  Goes  to  Sacramento  43 

A  Question  of  Style  46 

Political  Philosophy  and  Personalities  49 

Mr.  Huff  Meets  Governor  Reagan  52 

Establishing  State  Income  Tax  Withholding  54 


The  Legacies  of  Roger  Kent  and  Don  Bradley  59 

Closing  Thoughts  61 



"Tax  Collector  Huff —Politicians '  Enemy  No.  1,"  Carolyn  Street, 

California  Journal,  November  1977,3810383  66 

"Improving  the  California  Personal  Income  Tax,"  Martin  Huff, 

University  Extension,  University  of  California,  1978  69 

Comments  at  Memorial  Service  for  Roger  Kent,  May  22,  1980  71 

INDEX  72 


Curr i cu 1  urn  Vi  tae 

Resi  dence        1909  8th  Avenue,  Sacramento,  CA  9581 S.  Tel:  916/441-5410 
Fro-f  ess-  i  on       Management  Consu 1  tan t/CPA 

E  x  p  e  r  i  e  n  c  e 

Current         Martin  Hu-f-f  and  Associates,  Sacramento,  California 

Consultant  -  Management  and  Taxation 

Sacramento  Regional  Transit  District  (public  agency) 
Member,  Board  o-f  Directors,  19SO-  (President,  1983) 
Chair,  Finance  £  Administration  Committee  (1986) 

Para  transit,  Inc.  (n  on -pro-fit  corporation) 

Member,  Board  o-f  Directors,  1984-  (President,  1986) 

Prior  1978-80  Cali-f.  State  University,  Sacramento 

Faculty  (part  time),  Public  Administration 

1963-79  Cali-f.  State  Franchise  Tax  Board  (public  agency) 
Execu  t  i  ve  O-f  -f  i  cer 

1958-63  City  o-f  Oakland,  Cali-f. 

Auditor-Controller  (n  on -part,  elective  o-f -f  ice) 

1953-58  T  imp  son,  Boyle  &  Hu-f-f,  CPA's,  Oakland,  Cali-f. 
Senior  Accountant  to  Partner 

1951-53  Peterson  Tractor  Co.,  San  Leandro,  Cali-f. 
Assistant  Chie-f  Accountant 

1949-51  Mulgrew  Printers,  Inc.,  Oakland,  Cali-f. 

Educat  i  on        Federal  Executive  Institute,  Char  1 ot tesv i  1  1  e  ,  VA 

Graduate,  Senior  Executive  Education  Program  (1976) 

California  State  University,  Sacramento 
M.A.,  Government  (1970) 

Un  i  v  e  r  s  i  t  y  o-f  Cali-f  or  n  i  a  ,'  Berkeley 

B.S.,  Business  Administration  (1949) 

Antioch  College,  Yellow  Springs,  OH 
Freshman  (1940-41) 

Hi  gh  School s: 

Boys  High  School,  Brooklyn,  NY  (1939-40)  C 50 00] 

Mallejo  Sr .  Hi  School,  Vallejo,  CA  (1938-39)  [2000] 

The  Principia,  St.  Louis,  MO  (1937-38)  t  250] 

American  School,  Guam,  M.I.  (1936-37)  [   101 

Martin  Hu-f-f  page  1  1*  March  1986 


Prof es  s  i  on  &1 

Assoc  i  ?.  t  i  ons     American  Institute  o-f  CPA's  (1953-85) 

Calif.  Society  of  CPA's  <  1958-35) 
Mi ce -Pre si  dent  (1968-69) 
Govt.  Acctg.  &  Auditing  Comm.  (1960-65) 

Chair  (1963-65) 
Pro-f.  Development  Comm.  (1971-74) 

Chair  (1973-74) 

Beta  Alpha  Ps i  ,  Nat'l.  Honorary  Acctg.  Society  C1949-) 

Nat'l.  Assn.  o-f  Tax  Administrators  (1963-79) 
President  (1978-79) 

Fe  de  r  a  t  i  on  o-f  Tax  Adm  i  n  i  s  t  r  a  t  or  s  (  1  963-79 ) 
Chair,  Board  o-f  Trustees  (1973-79) 

Municipal  Finance  O-f -fleers'  Assn.,  U  .  S  .^Canada.  ( 1  953-68) 
Ch  air,  Nor  them  California  (1 960-63 ) 

Society  of  Governmental  Accountants  (1958-63) 
President,  Bay  Area  Chapter  (1959-60) 

Commun  i  ty 
Ser  v  i  ce 

Current         Developmental  Disabilities  Service  Org.,  Sacramento 

Member,  Board  of  Directors  (1982-) 

Prior  Suicide  Prevention  Service  of  Sacramento  County 

Member,  Board  of  Directors  (1980-82) 

U.  S.  Savings  Bond  Drive,  Calif.  State  Govt.  Campaign 
State  Chair  (1977) 

United  Way,  Sacramento  Area 

President  (1971-72) 


Commun  i  ty  Serv  ices  PI ann  i  ng  Counc  i  1  ,  Sacramento 
Member,  Board  of  Directors  (1969-71) 

Citizens '  Adv  i  sor  y  Comm  .  ,  Sac  r  ame  n  t  o  (Jn  i  f  .  Sc  h  .  District 
Yice  Chair  (1968-69) 

Council  of  Social  Planning,  A  lame da  County,  Calif. 
Treasurer  (1962-63) 

United  Bay  Area  Crusade,  San  Francisco,  Calif. 
Member,  Board  of  Governors  (1962-63) 

Oak  1  and  Symphony  Assn .  ,  Oak  1  and ,  Cal  i  f . 
Member,  Board  of  Directors  (1961-63) 

Martin  Huff  page  2  16  March  1 9£ 


Alameda  Count/  United  Fund,  Oakland,  Calif.  (1958-63) 
Member,  Public  Relations  Comm .  (1963) 
Member,  Executive  Comm.  ( 1960 -63 ) 
Vice  Chair,  Central  (1961) 
Chair,  Public  Emp 1 oy e e s  (I960) 
Chair,  City  of  Oak  land  (1 959 ) 
Vice  Chair,  City  o-f  Oakland  <195S) 

A 1  ame  da  Cou  n  t  y  I  n  s  t  i  t  u  t  i  on  s  Comm  i  ss  i  on  (  1  959-63  > 
Cha  i  r ,  Execu  t i  ve  Comm .  ( 1 960-63) 

Council  o-f  Community  Services  -  Oakland  Area 

Chair,  Commission  on  Leisure  Time  Services  (1959-60) 

Recreat i  on 
5  &  r  •  v  i  c  e 

Current         Sacramento  Book  Collectors''  Club,  Sacramento 

President  (1986) 

Treasurer  (1931-86) 

USS  SACRAMENTO ,  Ch ap  t  e  r  #91,  USCS ,  Sac  r  ame  n  t  o 
Treasurer  ( 1985-) 

Prior  Sacramento  Council  of  International  Visitors,  Sacramento 

President  (1984) 

Na t  i  one.  1 

Serv i  ce  U.  S.  Merchant  Marine 

Able  Seaman  to  Second  Mate  (1941-46) 

U.  S.  Naval  Reserve  (inactive) 
Apprentice  Seaman  (1941-44) 

Per  son  a  1 

Data  Born:       Hut chin son,  Kansas     10  March  1923 

Married:    Anne  E .  M i 1  burn          3  June   1944 
B.A.,  Antioch  College  (1943) 
M.S.UI.  ,  "Cal  i  f  .  State  Un  i  v  .  ,  Sac  to  (1971) 

Children:   Roger  M.  Huff  (39),  At  tor ney-at-Law  & 
Comdr . ,  USCGR ,  Chicago 

Douglas  M.  Huff  (37),  Principal  Basoonist, 
Regensberg  Philharmonic  Orchestra, 
Regensberg,  West  Germany 

Susan  M.  Wagner  (34),  Housewife  &  Mother 
of  2,  Ex -I nsu ranee  Supervisor 

Hobbies:  Philatelic  covers,  book  collecting,  swimming, 
white  water  river  running,  travel,  classical 
mus  i  c 

Martin  Huff  page  3  16  March  1986 


Tr  ade  Ur.  I  on 

Ac  t  i  v  i  ty         Cannery  Workers  Union  (Teamsters  Affiliate)  (1946) 

National  Organization  of  Masters,  Mates  &  Pilots  of 
America,  West  Coast  Local  «90  (1945-46) 

International  Brotherhood  o-f  Electrical  Workers, 
AFL  (1944) 

National  Maritime  Union,  CIO  (1943-45) 

Pol  i  t  i  ca.1 

Ac  t  i  v  \  ty         Democ  r  a  t  i  c  Part  >•  Pos  i  t  i  on  s  : 

Democratic  State  Central  Committee 
Treasurer  (1956-53,  1960-63) 
Co-Chair,  8th  Congressional  District  (1954-56) 

California  Democratic  Council 
Trustee  (1957-58) 

Democratic  Council  o-f  Clubs,  8th  Cong.  District 
President  (1956-57) 

Democratic  Central  Committee  o-f  A  lame  da  County 
Secretary  (1952-54) 

15th  A.  D.  Democratic  Club  (1950-63) 

Con ven t  i  ons : 

Democratic  National  Conventions 

Delegate,  Los  Angeles  (1960)  -  Kennedy/ John son 
Delegate,  Chicago  (1956)  -  Stevenson/Kef auver 

Cal  i  i or n i  a  Democrat  i  c  Counc  i  1 

Delegate,  Mem.,  Finance  Comm.,  Fresno  (1953) 

Delegate,  Mem.,  Credentials  Comm.,  Long  Beach  (1957) 

Delegate,  V.C.,  Credentials  Comm.,  Fresno  (1956) 

Delegate,  Mem.,  Credentials  Comm.,  Fresno  (1955;1 

Delegate  Fresno  ( 1 954 • 

Delegate   (Founding  Convention)  Fresno  (1953) 

Scribe     ( Pr e -Found i ng  Meeting)  Asilomar  (1953) 

Democratic  Endorsing  Convention,  A lame  da  County 

Delegate  Oakland     (1953) 

Democratic  Endorsing  Convention,  8th  Cong.  District 
Delegate,  Perm.  Convention  Chair    San  Leandr o( 1 956) 
Delegate  San  Leandro( 1 954 ) 

Camp  a  i  gn  Ac  t  i  v i  ty : 
Martin  Huff  page  4  16  March  1 9£ 


1962  General  Election 

Treasurer,  Brown  -for  Governor 
Petris  -for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 

Pr  i  mary  El ec  t  i  on 

Treasurer,  Brown  -for  Governor 
Petris  -for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 

1960  Genera  1  El ec  t  i  on 

No.  Calif.  Treasurer,  Kennedy /Johnson 
Manager,  Petris  -for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 

1 960  Pr  imary  El ec  t  i  on 

Man  age  r  ,  Petris  f  or  Assemb  1  y  (15th  A.D.) 

1 953  Fr  imary  El ec t  i  on 

Man  age  r ,  Petris  i or  Assemb 1 y  (15th  A.D.) 
Treasurer,  Holmdahl  -for  State  Senate  (16  S.D.) 

1 956  General  El ec  t  i  on 

Treasurer,  Stevenson/Kef  auver  -  Al  ameda  Co 
Treasurer,  Richards  -for  U.S.  Senate  -  Al  ameda  Co 
Treasurer,  Dollars  -for  Democrats  -No.  Calif. 
Treasurer,  Dollars  -for  Democrats  -  A 1  ameda  Co 
River  -for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 

Pr  i  mar y  El ec  t  i  on 

Treasurer,  Stevenson  Campaign  -  A lame  da  Co 
Treasurer,  Richards  for  U.S. Senate  -  A 1 ameda  Co 
River  for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 

1955  Kirwan  Dinner  Committee  -  Al ameda  Co 

Treasur er 
Stevenson  for  Pres.  Or  g .  Comm .  -  A 1 ameda  Co 

Tr  easurer 
Holmdahl  for  Council  Campaign  Committee  -  Oakland 

Tr  easurer 

1954  General  Election 

Treasurer,  River  for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 

Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 

BJornson  for  State  Senate  (16th  S.D.) 

River  for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 

Graves/Roybal  Campaign  Committee  -  A  lame da  Co 

Pr  i  mary  El ec  t  i  on 

Treasurer,  River  for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 
Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 
Bjornson  for  State  Senate  (16th  A.D.) 
River  for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 
Graves/Roybal  Campaign  Comm i tee  -  A  lame da  Co 

Martin  Huff  page  5  16  March  1 9S6 


1952  General  El ec  t  i  on 

Stevenson/Spar kmen  Campaign  Comm .  -  Alameda  Co 
Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 

Pr i  mary  El ec  t  i  on 

Potstada  for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 
Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 

1950  General  Election 

Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 
Douglas  for  U.  S.  Senate  -  Alameda  Co 

Pr  i  mary  El ec  t  i  on 

Moore  for  Assembly  (15th  A.D.) 
Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 
Roosevelt  for  Governor  -  Alameda  Co 
Douglas  for  U.  S.  Senate  -  Alameda  Co 

1945  General  El ec  t  i  on 

Uernon  for  Assembly  (14th  A.D.) 

Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 

Truman/Bark  1 ey  Campaign  Committee  -  Alameda  Co 

1946  General  El ec t  i  on 

Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 

Pr  i  mary  El ec  t  i  on 

Roach  for  Assembly  (14th  A.D.) 

Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 

Will  Rogers,  Jr.  for  U.  S.  Senate  -  Alameda  Co 

Kenney  for  Governor  -  Alameda  Co 

1944  General  Election 

Irwin  for  Assembly  (14th  A.D.) 
Miller  for  Congress  (8th  C.D.) 
Roosevelt  for  President  -  Alameda  Co 

Pol  i  t  i  c  a 1  Pu  b 1  i  c  a  t  i  on  s : 

Alameda  County  Democrat:  Co-founder/Editor  (c. 1950-53) 

F  am  i  1 y 

Background       Both  parents,  both  maternal  grandparents,  and  one 

paternal  grandparent  were  born  in  Kansas.  My  paternal 

grandfather  was  born  in  Missouri. 

Both  parents  were  first  generation  college  graduates 
( baccal aur  eates) . 

Father  enlisted  in  the  U.  S.  Navy  in  WWI  .  At  end  of  UIWI, 
he  elected  to  stay.  As  Ch .  Pharmacist  (Ch.  Warrant 
Officer)  (pre-UIWI  I)  &  Lt.  Comdr  .  (WWII)  served  as  hos 
pital  administrator:  Great  Lakes,  IL  ( 2x ) ;  Mare  Island, 
CA  (2x);  Guam.  M.I.;  Brooklyn,  NY  (2x);  Londonderry, 

Martin  Huff  page  6  16  March  1984 

No.  Ireland;  Portsmouth,  VA . 

Neither  parent  was  a  registered  voter  until  my  -father 
retired  -from  the  Navy  in  1947.  They  registered  as 
Republ  icans.  MX  -father  had  a  personal  disl  ike  -for  FDR 
because  a  -fellow  hospital  corps-man  who  became  FDR's 
masseur  was  promoted  by  presidential  directive  rather 
than  through  competitive  examination. 

My  social  conscience  was  awakened  by  my  junior  year 
history/English  teacher.  He  had  the  most  pro-found 
a-f-fect  on  me  o-f  any  teacher/pro-f essor  in  high  school 
or  col  1  ege  . 

In  1940,  I  was  a  Ulillkie  supporter.  In  our  -freshman 
Hall  at  Antioch  College  (a  liberal  school),  o-f 
seventeen  o-f  us,  -fifteen  supported  FDR  and  two  o-f 
us,  Willkie.  <A11  -fifteen  we  re  later  n  on  -p  o  1  i  t  i  c  a.  1 
types,  but  mysel-f  and  the  other  UHlllkie-ite  wound-up 
being  active  California  Democrats!) 

My  first  political  activity  was  in  1943.  While  waiting 
in  the  union  hiring  hall  for  a  ship,  volunteers  were 
called  for  to  punch  doorbells  for  Mike  Quill,  the  head 
of  the  N . Y . C .Tr anspor t  Workers  Union,  who  was  running 
for  Ci  ty  Counc  i 1  . 

My  wife  and  I  were  married  in  New  Jersey  in  1944  and 
came  directly  to  the  Bay  Area  after  our  honeymoon.  My 
wife  had  never  been  west  of  Chicago.  In  California,  she 
found  she  was  disenfranchised.  New  Jersey  had  no  pro 
vision  for  absentee  ballots  and  California  had  a  one 
year  residence  requirement.  (I  had  travelled  1200  miles 
round  trip  from  New  York  during  the  war  to  register  in 
in  Ohio  Republ  i can  so  I  could  vote  against  Robert  A. 
Taf t  for  U.  S.  Senate  in  the  Ohio  primary). 

Anne  was  the  first  to  hold  a  Democratic  Party  position 
when  she  was  appoin-ted  to  the  Democratic  State  Central 
Committee  in  1948  by  Assembly  nominee  Ernie  Vernon.  As 
a  State  Committee  member,  she  sat  on  the  platform  when 
Harry  Truman  came  to  Oakland  that  year. 

Huff  page  7  16  March  19S6 



Martin  Huff  is  a  treasure  trove  of  thoughtful  observations  on 
Democratic  strategies,  successes,  and  failures  from  his  long  career  in 
the  nuts  and  bolts  of  party  politics.   An  earnest,  attractive  person, 
active  in  many  causes  though  officially  retired  as  executive  of  the 
California  Franchise  Tax  Board,  Huff  and  his  wife,  Anne,  got  involved 
in  Alameda  County  legislative  and  congressional  campaigns  soon  after  they 
moved  to  California  in  1944.   A  stickler  for  detail  and  accuracy,  Huff 
became  treasurer  of  the  local  congressional  district  committee  and  then  of 
the  Democratic  State  Central  Committee,  where  he  worked  closely  with 
Roger  Kent  and  other  statewide  leaders. 

The  interview  provides  a  picture  of  the  sleepy  local  politics  in 
Alameda  County  in  the  1950s,  including  a  vignette  of  the  awe  inspired 
by  old  Joe  Knowland ,  publisher  of  the  Oakland  Tribune  and  long  considered 
a  Republican  kingmaker. 

I  finally  concluded  that  they  [the  city  council]  were  second- 
guessing — they  had  no  direct  orders  or  knowledge — what  they 
thought  Old  Man  Joe  wanted.   ...just  from  the  little  exposure 
that  I  had,  I  was  convinced  that  his  philosophy  and  views  on 
issues  weren't  anywhere  near  as  harsh,  or  conservative,  or 
reactionary,  as  the  people  that  were  executing  policy — they 
thought — in  his  name.     [page  33] 

Nothing  daunted,  Huff  and  friends  succeeded  in  electing  new  blood  to  the 
city  council,  and  Huff  himself  served  a  term  as  city  auditor. 

Early  meetings  of  the  California  Democratic  Council  are  also 
described,  and  local  and  state  Democratic  conventions.   They  convey  a 
sense  of  the  excitement  of  those  days  and  provide  insights  on 
Governor  Pat  Brown,  Senator  Pierre  Salinger,  Assembly  Speaker  Jesse  Unruh, 
Huff's  close  friend  State  Senator  Nicholas  Petris,  and  on  several  notable 
political  crises. 

Although  the  interviewer  had  hoped  to  obtain  information  on 
organizational  developments  after  Roger  Kent  retired  from  Democratic 
leadership,  Huff  stated  that  he  had  withdrawn  from  active  party  work  when 
he  accepted  an  appointment  from  Pat  Brown  in  1963  to  head  the  Franchise 
Tax  Board.   What  he  provides  instead  is  a  fascinating  account  of  the 
FTB  accomplishing  a  complex  administrative  innovation:   the  institution 
of  income  tax  withholding  in  1972. 


Ronald  Reagan  was  then  governor  and  strongly  opposed  to  tax 
withholding.   Huff's  account  tells  of  securing  the  governor's  agreement 
and  of  the  simultaneous  passage  of  enabling  legislation  and  setting  up 
FTB  procedures  to  meet  statutory  deadlines.  We  see  at  work  the  skills  of 
negotiation  and  precision  handling  of  detail  learned  in  political  campaigns, 
and  also  something  of  the  operation  of  a  little-known,  important  state 

Two  interviews  were  recorded  with  Huff  on  April  2  and  23,  1986,  in 
his  small,  comfortable  home  on  a  tree-lined  street  in  Sacramento.   At  the 
first  session,  he  sorted  through  a  pile  of  photographs  of  political  events 
and  gave  the  interviewer  a  brief  glimpse  of  a  fine  collection  of  press 
clippings  he  had  kept  since  1966  and  letters  to  his  son  and  grandson  that 
comment  on  public  affairs.   It  is  hoped  that  these  materials  will  eventually 
be  deposited  in  the  State  Archives  or  other  depository  where  they  will 
be  available  to  scholars. 

A  lightly  edited  transcript  of  the  interviews  was  sent  to  Huff  for 
review.   In  making  revisions,  Huff  entered  the  entire  manuscript  on 
his  personal  computer,  a  labor  above  and  beyond  the  call  of  duty.   Shortly 
thereafter,  his  son,  Roger,  arrived  for  a  brief  visit,  read  the 
transcript,  and  made  a  few  additional  suggestions.   These  were  entered  and 
a  second  printout  sent  to  the  Regional  Oral  History  Office.   In 
appreciation  of  his  helpfulness  on  a  tightly  budgeted  project,  the  interview 
is  presented  as  Huff  prepared  it.  Minor  variations  from  ROHO's  usual 
style  reflect  capitalization  policy  in  state  government. 

Gabrielle  Morris 

22  April  1987 

Regional  Oral  History  Office 

486  The  Bancroft  Library 

University  of  California  at  Berkeley 


While  I  accept  sole  responsibility  for  the  content  and  substance  of  my 
remarks  during  the  interviews,  1  wish  to  acknowledge  the  editorial 
assistance  of  my  wife,  Anne  M.  Huff,  and  older  son,  Roger  M.  Huff.  The); 
identified  typographical  errors,  pointed  out  instances  where  more 
specificity  as  to  names  and  dates  wou Id  be  helpful,  and  questioned 
comments  and  words  of  art  that  needed  clarification  and/or 
amp  1  i  f  i  cat  i  on . 

Martin  Huff 

26  January  1987 


Fr •  e  1  i  m I n  ar  y  Con  v e r •  sa  t i  on  s 

Huff :      Do  you 
Nor  r  j  s :    Sure . 
Huf f ;      There's 
headquarters  were 
and  ear  1 y  1 960 ' s ; 
be i ng  in  1 953 ,  i  t 
central  c  omm  i  1 1  e  e , 
season ' ] . 
Morr i  s : 
Huff  ; 
abou t  . 
Morr  i  s 

want  to  take  a  quick  look  at  the  pictures  now? 

a   212  Gang''  picture  [Northern  California  Democratic 
at  212  Sutter  Street,  San  Francisco  in  the  1950's 
when  the  California  Democratic  Council  came  into 
was  housed  jointly  with  the  Democratic  state 
as  well  as  ad  hoc  groups  and  campaign  committees  'in 


Huff  : 
Morr  i  s 
Huff  : 
Morr  i  s 

e  v  e  n 
Th  e  y 

looks  like  it's  in  the  -fifties. 
Here's  another.  See  if  you  can  identify  what 
took  me  a  few  minutes  to  dope  it  out. 
re  all  delegates  to  something. 
the  faces. 

it's  all 

And  they  all  look  rather  pleased.  There's  George  Wallace. 

Sure.  These  were  all  governors. 

Good  heavens!  [laughs] 

1966,  the  governors  of  the  United  States. 

Meeting  in  Los  Angeles'? 

Yes,  the  1966  National  Governors'  Conference. 

I  don't  see  Pat  Brown. 

Huff ;       He  was  the  host  governor  and  was  probably  called  away  when 
they  snapped  the  picture. 

H_u  f  f  ;      See  the  picture  on  the  far  wall?  That's  autographed  both  by 
Vice  President  Hubert  H.  Humphrey  and  Governor  Edmund  G.  (Pat)  Brown. 
That  was  taken  at  the  conference  at  one  of  the  large  hotels  in  Beverly 
Hills.  I  was  at  the  conference  on  special  assignment.  I  was  in  charge 
of  the  'little'  Governor's  Office  for  the  conference.  I  was  responsible 
for  all  subject  matter  issues  that  might  come  up.  It  blew  my  mind 
because  I  had  never  been  that  directly  involved  in  the  actual  operation 
of  the  Governor's  Office  in  Sacramento.  I  can't  even  recall  how  I  got 
the  assignment,  but  I  assume  it  was  Hale  Champion's  idea  [Pat  Brown's 
Director  of  Finance  at  the  time  and  formerly  his  Executive  Secretary; 
Champion,  also,  was  one  of  the  three  members  of  the  State  Franchise  Tax 
Boa.rd,  of  which  Huff  was  Executive  Officer].  I  had  all  these  issue 
papers,  but  knew  only  what  was  on  an  e i gh t-and-hal f -by-e 1  even- i nch 
sheet  of  paper  on  any  particular  subject, 
whole  scope  of  issues  dumped  in  your  lap, 
headache ! 

Morr i  s :    Awe -inspiring. 

Hu  f  f ;      Yes.  This  was  the  day  that  Life  photographers  were  following 
Pat  Brown  around  all  day.  Pat  went  in  to  see  the  vice  president  and 
talk  politics  for  a  few  minutes.  Everybody  else  who  was  waiting  to  see 
Humphrey  was  sitting  around  the  bedroom  on  the  chairs  and  the  beds.  We 
were  just  like  cattle  in  a  chute.  When  Brown  finished  his  little 
private  chat,  I  had  a  particular  assignment  to  get  Humphrey  to  take 
some  action  at  the  federal  level  on  a  labor  issue 
the  first  one  in.  I  wasn't  even  aware  there  was  a 

When  you  suddenly  have  the 
it  really  gives  you  a  massive 

As  a  r esu 1 t ,  I  was 
photographer  in  the 


room.  The  thing  about  the  photo  was  that  both  of  them  were  sitting 

their  with  their  mouths  shut  listening  to  me.  These  are  two  men  who 

were  rarely  caught  not  talking.  They  both  autographed  the  photo.  Its  a 

col  1  ec  tor  '  s  i  tern . 

Nor r  i  s ;    I  should  say. 

Hu  f-f  ;      There's  Ronald  Reagan  as  governor. 

Mor  r  i  s  ;    You're  looking  very  formal  there. 

Huf  f  ;      Well,  I  really  didn't  want  to  be  in  a  picture  with  the 

governor.  That  was  one  of  my  employees. 

Morr i  s :    I  see . 

Huf  f  :      Here's  one  on  the  last  days  o-f  Pat  Brown  as  governor. 

Morr  i  s ;    Putting  some  plans  together? 

Hu-f  i  :      Yes,  reviewing  our  department's  proposed  work  management 

program . 

Here's  a  City  o-f  Oakland  picture  taken  when  I  was  leaving  -for 
Sacramento.  That's  City  Manager  Wayne  Thompson  and  there's  the  mayor  - 
John  Hou 1  i  han ,  who  1 ater  wen  t  t o  j  a  i 1  ,  i  i  you  recal 1  .  There ' s  a 
little-known  section  of  the  State  Constitution  that  goes  back  to  Hiram 
Johnson's  day,  that  says  that  if  a  California  public  official  accepts 
free  public  transportation  it  acts  to  terminate  his  office.  It's  a 
se 1 f -execu t i ng  provision.  [A  Johnson  reform  to  help  break  the  hold  of 
the  Southern  Pacific  on  state  and  local  officials.]  Houlihan  had 
flown — some  time  before  this  picture --on  an  inaugural  Delta  flight  from 
Oakland  to  New  Orleans,  and  had  done  it  gratis.  After  he  submitted  his 
travel  expense  claim,  I  called  him  into  my  office  (not  something  even 
an  elected  audi tor— control  1 *r  does  every  day!)  and  told  him  he  had 
three  choices  before  I  processed  the  claim:  have  the  City  Council  pay 
for  the  air  fare;  pay  for  it  out  of  his  own  pocket;  or  forfeit  his 
of f  i  ce  as  mayor . 

Houlihan  would  have  been  better  off  in  the  long  run,  if  he 
had  taken  the  third  option.  Politically,  he  didn't  want  to  take  the 
claim  to  the  council,  for  some  reason  I  didn't  know.  George  Christopher 
[former  Mayor  of  San  Francisco!  had  been,  in  my  opinion,  violating  the 
Constitution  for  years,  and  Houlihan  had  been  using  as  a  precedent  the 
fact  that  Christopher  had  done  this  with  the  Chamber  of  Commerce  paying 
for  some  of  his  junkets.  When  he  proposed  that  the  Oakland  Chamber  do 
1  ikewise  for  him,  I  told  the  mayor  that  wouldn't  satisfy  the 
Constitution,  so  he  paid  for  the  flight  out  of  his  own  pocket.  For  all 
that,  he  was  a  bri 1 1  iant  man. 
Morr  i  s ;    Hou 1  ihan? 

Huf f ;      Houlihan.  His  problems  were  alcohol  and  a  classic  case  of  the 
pressures  of  public  office.  He  ran  a  one-man  attorney  office,  became 
councilman,  then  mayor.  The  mayoralty  pay  was  only  $7,500  a  year,  and 
he  tried  to  maintain  his  social  standing  and  general  standard  of 
living,  including  raising  a  good  size  family,  with  that  pay  and  a 
declining  law  practice.  He  ended  up  dipping  into  his  attorney's  trust 
fund  and  'borrowed',  as  I  recall ,  close  to  * 100  ,000  from  the  estate  of 
a  w  i  dow . 

Morr  i  s ;    I  know  he  came  to  grief. 

Huff ;      He  served  his  time  at  Uacaville  Ca  state  correctional 
facility]  having  been  convicted  of  a  felony  and  been  disbarred  as  a 
result.  One  of  Reagan's  last  acts  was  to  restore  his  citizenship,  a 
considerable  time  after  his  release  and  rehabilitation. 
Morris:    You  were  in  the  mayor's  office? 

Hubert  Humphrey,  Governor  Brown,  and  Huff  at  1966  National  Governors  Conference,  meeting 
in  Los  Angeles. 

Huf  f  ;  No,     I    was    the    elected    auditor-controller. 

Morn  I s :  Th a  t ' s    right. 

Hu-f  f  i  1  was  independent  of  the  mayor  and  city  council. 

Morr  i  s:  So  you  know  about  the  problems  o-f  beino,  elected  as  auditor? 

Huff  :  Oh,  yes. 

Master  s  Thesis  on  the  U.  S.  Supreme  Court 

Hu-f  f  ;      You  wouldn't  know  what  this  is,  but  that's  a  photo  o-f  Federal 

Circuit  Court  Judge  Haynsworth,,  who  Nixon  nominated  to  the  U.  S. 

Supreme  Cour t--C1 emen t  Haynsworth.  I  interviewed  him  a-fter  his 

rejection  by  the  U.  S.  Senate.  That  was  the  subject  o-f  my  master's 

thesis,  comparing  his  rejection  to  the  rejection  o-f  [President] 

Hoover's  nominee,  Circuit  Court  Judge  Parker.  These  were  the  -first  two 

such  rejections  by  the  U.  S.  Senate  in  this  century. 

Morr i  s ;    Really?  Very  interesting. 

Hu-f  i  :      Part  o-f  the  story  is  how  I  got  to  see  Haynsworth.  I  had  my 

two  sons  with  me  like  a  m i  1  i  tary  esc or t . 

Morr  i  s  ;    In  un  i  -f  orm? 

Hu-f-f  :      In  uniform.  One  was  a  soldier  at  the  Armed  Forces  School  o-f 

Music  in  Nor -folk  CVa]  ,  and  the  other  had  just  received  his  commission 

as  an  ensign  at  the  Coast  Guard  Training  Center  in  York  town  CVa] .  They 

drove  down  to  Greenville,  South  Carolina,  with  me  to  the  interview.  I 

later  turned  that  interview  into  one  with  U.  S.  Supreme  Court  Justice 

HUQO  Black.  I  consider  the  Black  interview,  the  h  i  oh  point  o-f  my  entire 


Mor  r  i  s  :    About  the  process  o-f-- 

Hut -f  :      Well  Black  had  voted  as  a  senator  to  reject  Parker,  and  I 

used  that,  and  the  -fact  that  I  had  interviewed  Haynsworth  as  my  entree. 

I  have  just  -finished  reading  [summer  1936]  his  [Black's]  widow's 

memoirs,  and  tied  in  the  date  that  I  saw  him  and  interviewed  him  in  his 

home  in  Alexandria,  VA  with  a  dinner  he  hosted  in  his  home  -for 

Haynsworth  six  weeks  later. 

Morr i  s ;    That's  interesting,  that  they  continued  to  have  personal 

contact,  though--   Professional  curiousity — did  you  tape-record  the 

i  n  ter v  i  ew? 

Hu-f-f  ;      No.  I  was  prepared  to.  I  had  a  tape  recorder,  but  in  both 

interviews  I  made  the  judgment  not  to  take  notes  or  tape-record,  or 

even  ask.  In  both  cases,  I  just  wrote  like  mad  a-fterwards.  A-fter  the 

Haynsworth  interview,  my  sons  were  able  to  jog  my  memory  as  we  sat  in 

the  car  outside  the  courthouse. 

In  the  case  o-f  Black,  I  did  take  just  one  note,  which  was  to 
write  down  the  name  when  I  thought  I  had  a  parallel  between  the  wife  of 
the  attorney  general  under  Hoover  and  Martha  Mitchell  [the  wife  of 
Nixon's  attorney  general].  It's  the  one  thing  Black  wrote  back  about  to 
tell  me  that  she  was  somebody  else. 

Mine  was  one  of  his  last  interviews.  I  believe  it  was  held 
about  twenty  months  before  he  died.  CA  good  part  of  that  later  period 
Black  was  in  i 1 1 -heal th . ] 
Morr  i  s ;    How  long  were  you  able  to  talk  to  him? 

About  an  hour  and  a  half. 

That's  a  remarkable  job,  to  recall  what  you've  heard  for  that 
length  of  t  ime . 
Huff ;      I  sent  my  write-up  back  to  him  to  review  afterwards,  and  of 

course,  my  understanding  with  him  was  no  direct  quotes.  It  was  all 
third-party  attribution.  The  one  human  interest  part  of  it  was  that  he 
had  one  phone  call  in  the  middle  o-f  the  interview.  His  phone  wasn't  at 
his  desk  in  the  study.  It  was  on  a  table  where  he  had  to  get  up  and  go 
to  it.  I  -figured  it  must  have  been  set-up  that  way  on  purpose'.  When  he 
walked  over  to  answer  the  phone,  I  wandered  around.  He  had  all  these 
large  photographs  o-f  the  court  'en  bane"'  in  various  years  and  at 
various  a-f -fairs  at  the  White  House.  The  walls  were  lined  with  books. 
There  were  an  awful  lot  o-f  books  about  tennis.  I  didn't  know  anything 
about  his  personal  1  i -fe  at  the  time,  but  all  his  life  he'd  been  playing 

Morr i  s :    Real  1 y? 

Huff  ;      I  had  no  knowledge  o-f  this  at  al  1  .  So  when  his  phone 
conversation  was  over  he  sat  down,  and  the  -first  thing  he  did  was  to 
pick  up  a  paperweight,  which  was  two  bronze  tennis  racquets  tipped 
together.  O-f  course,  I  was  desperately  trying  to  -figure  out  to 
reconnect  the  link  a-fter  his  phone  call.  As  a  re-opener,  I  mentioned 
that  it  looked  like  he  had  some  interest  in  tennis.  There  was  this  kind 
of  pause  and  he  very  gently  told  me  that  his  wife  and  he  were  out 
playing  that  morning. 

This  was,  as  I  recall,  at  the  age  of  eighty-four.  Then,  of 
course,  when  I  read  his  widow's  book,  it  was  full  of  tennis.  He  even 
kept  at  it  when  he  had  problems  with  his  eyes--out  there  trying  to  hit 
balls.  The  Blacks  had  their  own  dirt  tennis  court. 

Morr  i  s ;    Marvelous.  Probably  a  great  outlet  for  the  frustrations  of 
sitting  on  the  bench. 

Huff :      There's  a  couple  of  shots  of  me .  I  think  those  were  taken  by 
Uan  Dempsey.  That  would  be  about  I960,  or  so. 
Morr  i  s ;    How  late  did  you  wear  a  crew  cut? 
Huf f ;      I  don't  remember.  Quite  late. 

There's  me  as  a  second  mate  in  the  Spring  of  '46. 
Morr  is ;    That  looks  like  a  nice  trip. 

Huf f !      It  was.  Down  the  west  coast  of  Central  America — the  coffee 
run.  It  was  after  the  war.  It  was  my  last  trip  as  a  merchant  marine 
of f  i  cer  . 

These  pictures  are  all  kind  of  random. 

1952  Election  Bet;  A  Political  Education 

This  is  the  San  Francisco  Examiner  —  just  after  the  election 
52.  That  was  the  first  and  last  time  I  ever  made  an  election  bet.  I 
assistant  chief  accountant  for  a  Caterpillar  Tractor  dealer,  and 
receptionist  was  an  ardent  Republican,  so  I  had  bet  her  a  pie  in 
face  on  the  presidential  race.  When  it  came  time  to  pay  off  the 

it  had  become  a  cause  ce 1 ebr e .   There  were  batteries  of 
photographers,  including  Life  magazine  and  most  of  the  Bay  Area 
newspapers.   (Life  had  earlier  east  coast  election  bet  photos  so  mine 
didn't  make  it,  although  it  was  the  highest  featured  photo  story  to 
that  time  by  the  local  San  Leandro  paper --they  ran  it  above  their 
masthead  as  a  series  of  stills  with  the  pie  moving  to  my  face  as  the 
target  frame  by  frame.  I  believe  locating  it  that  way  was  unprecedented 
for  them.)  I  was  wearing  a  black  armband  with  a  donkey  on  it. 

My  company  [Peterson  Tractor,  the  Caterpillar  dealer]  finally 
had  gotten  into  the  act,  and  wanted  to  make  a  full-scale  show  of  it,  so 

they  asked  me  not  to  wear  a  protect! ye  apron,  just  let  my  suit  be 
ruined.  They  promised  me  a  new  suit.  It  was  a  mess  because  it  was  one 
of  those  classic  retake  events.  They  had  a  dozen  pies  on  hand. 
Morr i  s !    And  you  stood  there  while  they  threw  all  of  them  at  you? 
Huf f  ;      Not  al  1  of  them,  but  there  were  many  retake  requests.  My  kids 
were  small  at  the  time.  I  think  it  was  my  second  son  who  was  just 
terrified  at  what  they  were  doing  to  his  dad. 

Huf f ;      Here's  a  pretty  good  group.  That's  got  names  on  the  back. 
Morr i  s ;    This  is  Ben  Swig  [manager/owner  of  the  Fairmont  Hotel],  isn't 
i  t? 

Huff  :      He's  there.  Joe  Hough te ling  [later  state  highway 
commissioner,  member  of  the  Bay  Area  Development  Commission,  and 
currently  member  of  the  Cal  ifornia  Tahoe  Planning  Agency],  Roger 
Kent  — . 

Nor  r  i  s ;    May,  1961.  So  this  is  a  strategy  session  for  the  '62 
camp a  i  gn? 

Huff ;      For  a  fund  raising  event,  or  something  like  that.  These  were 
all  moneybag  types.  Jane  Morrison  was  there. 

Cranston  as  state  controller.  I  was  auditor-controller 

[Oakland].  The  inheritance  tax  appraiser  was  the  mayor  of  Oakland  back 
in  the  late  ' 40 ' s ,  and  that  s  a  whole  story  in  itself. 
Morr  i  s ;    Joe  Smith? 

Huff ;      Joe  Smith.  In  fact,  it  was  that  Oakland  city  council  election 
in  '47  that  taught  me  a  lot  about  what  to  do  and  what  not  to  do,  in 
terms  of  winning  and  losing  political  power.  The  new  winning  council  men 
made  the  worst  political  exercise  in  judgment.  They'd  had  a  general 
strike  in  Oakland,  and — 
Morr  i  s :    I n  ' 46? 

Huf f ;      About  then,  and  then  came  the  election  in  '47.  Five  of  the 
i  nine  council  men  were  up.  At  the  time  the  council  chose  its  own  mayor. 
So  there  was  this  group  attacking  the  'ins',  and  four  of  the  five  won, 
which  meant  they  didn't  have  a  majority.  But  they  insisted  on  electing 
Joe  mayor.  (He  had  received  the  highest  number  of  votes  and  it  was 
traditional  to  select  the  mayor  that  way.) 
Morr  i  s ;    This  new  incoming  group? 

Huff ;      The  incoming  group,  instead  of  taking  the  dean  of  the  old 
group  as  mayor.  The  new  members  were  losers  from  that  day  on.  They 
rarely  could  muster  five  votes  on  any  issue.  It  was  so  elementary,  but 
they  were  all  so  heady  with  victory,  and  the  euphoria  of  it  al 1 ,  and 
what  they  were  going  to  do,  and — 

Morr i  s ;    And  refusing  to  make  any  concessions  to  the  old  guard? 
Hu f f ;      That's  right,  the  old  guard.  Again,  the  art  of  compromise, 
how  to  be  practical. 

Morr i  s ;    Did  you  take  some  pol  itical  science  courses  along  with  the 
business  classes? 

Huff :      At  Berkeley?  [University  of  California]   Never.  I  had  no  use 
for  them,  I  didn't  feel  they  related  to  the  real  world  at  all.  I  took 
government  at  Sac  State  [California  State  University,  Sacramento]--! 
got  my  masters  degree  there.  But  I  did  that  at  night. 
Morr  i  s !    That  was  while  you  were  in  Sacramento? 

Huf f ;      Well,  I'd  actually  started  at  Berkeley  before  I  came  up  here. 
Morr  i  s :    And  does  the  government  curriculum  include  the  political 
aspec  t  s  of  it? 

Huf f :      Not  really,  no.  Well,  it  would  touch  on  it,  but  there  were  no 
direct  courses  on  the  political  side,  although  I  was  later  a  part-time 


instructor  at  Sac  State  and  did  incorporate  the  political  dimension, 

including  inviting  politicians  as  guest  lecturers.  I  learned  all  mine 

the  hard  way.  I  had  no  use  for  people  like  Peter  Odegard  [former 

Chairman,  Political  Science  Department,  UC ,  Berkeley  and  one-time 

aspirant  to  be  a  U.  S.  Senator,  circa  1954].  I  thought  he  was  a 

"horse' s-ass"  . 

Morr  i  s :    You  were  aware  of  the  loyalty  oath  crisis  while  you  were  a 


Huff ;      Oh,  yes.  Didn't  affect  me  directly. 

Morr  i  s ;    There  wasn't  any  sense  of  student  involvement  in  the  issue? 

Huff ;      Maybe  there  was  for  others,  but  not  with  me.  I  worked  full 

time  and  was  only  on  campus  for  classes. 

Party  Field  Ulorker  Van  Dempsey 

Huff ;      There's  a  photo  of  my  wife,  Anne,  and  that's  Betty  Dempsey. 

Mor  r  i  s ;    I  hope  along  the  way  that  you'll  talk  about  Man  Dempsey. 

Huff :      Oh,  I  could  probably  tell  you  some  things  that  few  knew  about 

Van  Dempsey. 

Morr  i  s ;    He  is  mentioned  in  several  of  our  interviews  with  Democratic 

party  officials.  They  say  he  was  really  r  nard  worker,  and  we  couldn't 

have  done  it  without  him,  but  nobody  says  what  he  did. 

Huf f ;      Well,  of  course,  a  big  part  of  his  value  was  that  he  was  a 

laid-back  operator.  He  was  not  a  bureaucrat --he  couldn't  stand  the 

office,  or  office  work,  and  he  didn't  want  to  be  in  San  Francisco.  He 

was  a  field  worker,  and  during  special  elections,  a  local  campaign 

manager;  he  was  out  there  where  the  action  was,  talking  to  everybody, 

and  putting  things  together.  I  was  trying  to  think  of  how  I  got 

connec ted--that  was  one  of  your  questions — to  the  state  operation.  Van 

was  also  from  A lame da  County.  If  anybody  was  responsible  for  dragging 

me  over  to  San  Francisco,  it  was  probably  Van,  but  I  can't  remember 

spec  i  f  i  c-- 

Mor r  i  s ;    He  was  on  the  state  central  committee  payroll? 

Huf f ;      No,  no.  Never.  Oh,  I  thought  you  meant  a  member  of  the 

committee?  On  the  payroll,  yes.  But,  you  see,  what  even  Roger  [Kent] 

probably  didn't  know  was  that  the  entire  time,  even  his  labor  union 

time,  he  was  independently  wealthy.  He  never  had  to  work  a  day  in  his 


Morr  i  s :    I  see . 

Huff ;      He  was  the  black  sheep  of  his  family  out  of  Illinois,  who 

were  all  conservative  Republ  icans.  His  widow  of  now — what,  eight  years 

or  so?--still  lives  in  the  same  modest  home  in  Castro  Valley.  You  could 

never  tell  by  Van's  lifestyle,  or  anything  he  said  or  did,  that  he  had 

this  independent  wealth.  In  fact  one  of  his  principal  problems  was 

trying  to  manage  his  investments  and  get  as  much  of  his  estate  as  he 

could  transferred  down  to  the  next  generation  as  smoothly  as  possible. 

<" Smoothly"  is  defined  as:  with  as  few  tax  consequences  as  possible!) 

Mor  r  i  s ;    And  he  was  working  for  the  Democratic  party--was  his 

territory  Al ameda  County  or  was  it  a  broader  area? 

Huff ;      No,  the  whole  hinterland. 

Morr  i  s;    The  hinterland?  The  valley  and  the  northern  counties? 

Huff ;      The  valley  and  the  north,  right. 

Morr  i  s :    In  northern  California? 

Huff  :      Right. 

Morr  i  s ;    Southern  California? 

Hu-f -f  ;      Only  in  rare  and  special  cases.  Most  o-f  the  special  elections 

were  in  northern  California.  Uan  was  raised  in  hard-ball  UAW  [United 

Auto  Workers]  politics.  He  was  a  union  officer,  and  there  were  two 

other  officers  in  the  local  at  the  San  Leandro  Dodge  plant,  which  shut 

down  not  too  long  after  opening  as  a  brand  new  plant.  The  local  was 

reduced  to  the  three  officers,  as  I  recall.  The  expectancy  was  that  the 

plant  would  re -op en  at  any  time.  They  ended  up  spending  something  like 

two  years  cleaning  toilet  bowls,  hundreds  of  them,  in  a  big  auto 

factory—doing  every  kind  of  dirty,  miserable  job,  just  in  the  hopes 

that,  next  week,  or  next  month,  they  were  going  to  re -op en  the  plant. 

Keep  that  union  alive.  I  mean,  it  was  that  kind  of  dedication. 

Morr  i  s ;   Even  though  the  plant  was  closed,  they  continued  to  take  care 

of  the  maintenance. 

Huf f ;      It  was  a  minimum  kind  of  maintenance  program. 

Morr  i  s  ;    On  the  Auto  Workers1'  payroll? 

Huf f  i      No,  on  the  Dodge  plant  payroll.  Well,  they  were  also  union  —  I 

dorr  t  know  the  facts  on  that,  I  really  can't  say.  If  it  was  the  union 

payroll,  there  had  to  be  some  kind  of  connection  formed  to  be  actually 

working  in  the  plant  for  insurance  purposes,  and  the  like. 

Morr i  s :   Right.  So  as  far  back  as  the  ' 50 ' s ,  Uan  was  working  on  special 

e 1 ec  t  i  ons? 

Huff !      Oh,  yes. 

Morr i  s ;    To  make  sure  the  Democrats  were  elected. 

Huf f ;      It  was  those  series  of  special  elections  that  really  brought 

the  whole  thing--made  '58  possible  when  everything  fell  together.  And 

also  made  it  possible  because  they  were  focused,  so  you  could  send  in 

your  resources  from  everywhere.  What  in  effect  happened  was  that  these 

small  elections  would  be  invaded  by  all  kinds  of  out  landers,  and  we  had 

to  be  very  careful  about  that  because  if  you  were  detected  as  an 

outsider,  that  worked  the  other  way. 

Morr  i  s ;   Particularly  in  a  small  community,  where  a  lot  of  people  knew 

each  other. 

Huf f ;      Oh,  yes,  they  knew  everybody.  Well,  one  of  Uan ' s  real  assets 

jwas  this  ability — he  was  virtually  a  chameleon.  He  just  fitted  into  the 
whole  country  style,  and  was  accepted  by  the  local  people  long  before 
there  was  even  a  hint  of  an  election;  just  became  the  nuts  and  bolts 

\  man  . 

This  photo  is  under  the  Reagan  administration,  a  press 

i conference  of  all  the  department  directors  in  my  agency — so  that  would 

!  be  ,  I  don't  know,  1970-ish.  Have  I  got  hair  there? 

Morr  i  s ;    Yes,  you're  growing  it  out.  Department  directors?  In  the 
Franchise  Tax  Board  CFTB]? 

Huf f ;      No,  the  Agriculture  and  Services  Agency.  That  was  the  agency 
the  FTB  was  i  n . 

Morr  i  s;    [looking  at  photos]  After  Earl  Coke  left? 
Huff ;      Let  me  think.  You  know  Earl  Coke? 

Morr  i  s ;    I  know  of  him  by  reputation  and  I've  read  parts  of  his  oral 
h  i  story . 

Huf f ;      Okay.  He's  a  significant  person,  as  far  as  I'm  concerned, 
because  he  was  my  agency  secretary  [cabinet  officer],  and  he  was  what  I 
called  a  'no  bullshit'  man.  You  only  screwed  up  once  with  him,  then 
he'd  just  cut  your  head  off.  He  was  my  strongest  supporter  in  the 
Reagan  administration.  I  was  the  Democrat  in  the  Reagan  administration 
<and  that's  another  story  involving  the  late  State  Senator  George 

Miller,  Jr.  [father  of  the  current  Congressman]).  It  was —  I  thought  at 
one  time--my  sort  of  end-of -the-wor 1 d  thing. 

Back  under  Pat  Brown,  Hale  Champion  one  time  had  tried  to  get 
me  to  create  an  extra  public  relations  position  in  my  department,   so 
that  he  could  'borrow  it  to  use  it  in  the  Department  of  Finance.  I 
wouldn't  countenance  that.  Anybody  that  was  on  my  payroll  had  to  work 
for  me.  One  of  the  old  practices  around  there  to  this  day — I  think  Bob 
Williams,  in  the  governor's  office  right  now,  goes  back  to  [Governor] 
Goodie  Knight's  time,  and  as  far  as  I  know  has  been  on  first  the  Public 
Works  payroll  and  then  CALTRANS ,  but  not  on  the  governor's.  The 
director  of  Motor  Vehicles  under  Knight  used  to  work  in  the  governor's 
off  ice --and  was  just  nominally  the  head  of  Motor  V. 

I  just  wouldn't  put  up  with  that.  It  was  contrary  to 
everything  I  believed  in.  I  felt  it  violated  the  integrity  of  the 
process.  If  they  wanted  a  position,  they  should  have  to  justify  it.  The 
excuse  was  that,  politically,  it  was  hard  to  do,  and  I  never  bought 
that.  Anyway,  I  had  turned  Hale  Champion  down,  which  was  very  difficult 
to  do,  but  I  did  it.  One  day — this  takes  me  back  to  Coke — we  had  hired 
somebody  out  of  General  Services  that  apparently  had  been  used  by 
Coke's  office.  We  didn't  know  anything  about  it,  we  had  just  been  going 
through  the  regular  hiring  process,  selected  him  and  hired  him.  Once  he 
was  on — 

Morr  i  s ;    A  new  hire,  or  somebody  who  had  transferred  within — ? 
Huf f ;      A  transfer  within  state  government  who'd  been  in  the  General 
Services  department,  but  assigned  to  Coke's  office.  So  we  hired  him  not 
knowing  this.  He  got  over  to  our  department,  and  I  got  this  call  from 
Coke,  asking  to  con-- 
Morr  i  s ;   I  want  my  man  back? 

Huff ;  He  wanted  to  continue  the  arrangement.  I  groaned  inwardly  and 
to  myself  said,  "No".  I  paused,  took  a  deep  breath,  and  said,  "No"  out 
loud  to  Coke.  And  I  said  to  myself,  "Here  I  go"  and  replayed  to  myself 
the  'tape'  of  the  Hale  Champion  conversation.  I  started  to  explain,  and 
Coke  said,  "No,  you  don't  have  to  explain."  And  he  hung  up.  I  thought, 
"My  God,  Huff,  you  know  it's  going  to  be  hell  from  here  on  in!" 

That  actually  worked  the  other  way.  From  that  day  on,  he  knew 
where  I  stood,  and  what  I  stood  for.  I  found  out  that  he  had  defended 
me  in  a  lot  of  situations  where  they  were  trying  to,  you  know,  get 
political,  and  this  type  of  thing,  that  I  never  knew  anything  about  at 
the  time.  He's  a  hero  in  my  book. 

Morr  i  s ;    I've  heard  this  several  times  about  the  '70s,  I'm  not  sure 
that  somebody  didn't  tell  me  that  this  was  written  into  a 
regulation  —  that  what  you  did  if  you  wanted  more  staff,  was  you  got 
somebody  appointed  as  a  deputy — 

Huf f ;     I  doubt  if  it  was  a  reg,  it  was  probably  an  executive  order, 
or  something  like  that,  but  I'm  not  sure  if  that's  any — 
Morr  i  s;   To  codify  the  process  of  — 

Huff ;     Well,  or  try  to  legitimize  it.  But  I  don't  think  that  does 
legitimatize  it,  not  in  my  book,  furthermore  exempt  deputy  positions 
are  strictly  and  specifically  controlled  in  the  State  Constitution. 
Morr  i  s ;   It's  interesting  to  find  out  that  it  goes  back  through  several 
adm  i  n  i  strat  i  ons . 

Huf f :     Oh,  it  goes  back  into  antiquity.  Matter  of  fact,  one  of  the 
jokes — this  is  a  funny  story  on  the  Reagan  administration — there's  this 
new,  bright,  young  guy--he's  still  active  in  Republican  politics,  but 
not  quite  as  new,  not  as  bright — but  he'd  been  given  the  appointment  as 



secretary  of  the  Toll  Bridge  Authority.  It  was  an  agency  that  had 
nominal  charge  of  all  the  state  bridges,  but  the  secretary  was  the  only 
staff.  It  was  a  three-man  board,  which  included  the  governor  as  one  of 
the  members,  but  was  a  pro-f orma  outfit  really  run  by  Public  Works.  The 
secretary's  position  was  one  of  those  spots  that  was  used  to  staff  the 
governor's  office,  pure  and  simple. 

So  here  he  was,  a  bright-eyed  guy.  Over  at  Public  Works  they 
had  this  huge  sign  in  the  lobby  that  started  with  the  governor  and 
listed  anybody  that  was  anybody  all  the  way  down  the  line,  including 
the  Toll  Bridge  Authority  members,  but  not  its  secretary.  He  studied 
the  list  and  found  that  his  position  and  name  were  not  listed,  so  he 
went  to  whoever  was  in  charge  of  the  sign,  and  asked  to  be  included. 
The  person  looked  dumbfounded  because  everybody  who  had  ever  held  that 
position  before  had  made  it  very  clear  that  they  did  not  want  to  be 
1 i sted--f or  obvious  reasons. 

Morr i  s ;   That  they  thought  of  themselves  as  being  in  the  governor's 
off  i  ce? 

Huff ;     Well,  and  therefore  they  wanted  to  be  anonymous.  They  didn't 
want  any  public  record  of  it.  The  other  piece  of  the  story  was  that  the 
first  time  he  went  down  to  the  Bay  Area  by  car  after  he  had  received 
.  this  august  appointment,  he  came  to  the  Carquinez  Bridge,  and  stopped 
and  wanted  to  inspect  it!  The  local  bureaucrats  were 

non-plussed — here's  this  young  kid,  tall,  good  looking — and  they  said, 
"What  are  you  talking  about,  who  are  you?"  He  told  them  he  was  the 
secretary  of  the  Toll  Bridge  Authority. 

One  the  bureaucrats  got  on  the  horn  to  Sacramento  and  the 
conversation  as  this  fellow  tells  the  story  on  himself  was,  "Hey  Joe, 
we  got  this  fellow,  Dana  Reed" --that  was  his  name,  he's  still  around  in 
the  private  sector — "says  he's  secretary  of  the  Toll  Bridge  Authority, 
whatever  the  hell  that  is,  and  wants  to  inspect  the  bridge!"  Well,  Reed 
never  got  to  inspect  the  bridge. 
Morr  i  s ;   Oh,  dear. 

Democratic  Leadership  Figures 

Huf  f  ;     [Looking  at  photo]  I'm  an  emcee  installing  the  Oakland 

postmaster.  Here's  another  where  I'm  with  the  governor  [Pat  Brown]  this 

is  AB  80  being  signed.  That  was  the  property  tax  reform  bill,  way  back 

i  n  when — ? 

Morr  i  s;   '66? 

Huf f :     Yes,  the  governor's  last  year.  And  that  was  a  tough  one. 

That's  the  one  [John  T.  <D>,  llth  A.D.]  Knox  and  [Nicholas  C.  <D>,  9th 

S.D.)  Petris  co-authored,  and  Petris  got  just  a  terrible  beating  in  his 

district  on  it.  It  didn't  bother  Knox  at  all.  That's  Petris. 

Morr  i  s;   Yes.  That's  interesting:  Petris  took  the  beating,  and  not 

Knox,  but  Knox  has  left  the  legislature,  and  Petris  is  still  there. 

Huff ;     Well,  Knox  left  to  make  money.  Knox  used  to  carry  all  the 

terrible  bills,  because  he  could  get  them  through  if  anyone  could. 

Morr  i  s !   Yes,  he  did  all  the  regional  organization  things  — 

Huff ;     LAFCO  [Local  Agency  Formation  Commission] 

Morr  i  s ;   Yes. 

Huf f ;     Well,  he  did  a  lot  of  good  things,  but  he  also  carried  a  lot 

of  stinkers. 

Morris:   Because  nobody  else  would  carry  them,  or  he  had  some  interest 

Just  muscle,  and  money,  and  all  that  kind  of-- 
There's  old  Pierre  [Salinger],  who  helped  bring  the  party  down 
when  he  ran  -for  U.  S.  Senator 

[1964] --the  whole  Engl  e  fiasco.  That  was  kind  of  the  beginning  of  the 
end.  That  photo  was  taken  when  he  was  in  the  Unite  House,  with  Kennedy. 
Morr i  s ;   Uas  that  deliberate  on  Salinger's  part,  or  accidental? 
Hu-f-f ;     Oh,  no,  it  was  just  bad  political  judgment  all  the  way  around. 
Morr  i  s ;   Uas  it  that  people  were  looking  tor  ways  to  dislodge  Pat  Brown 
and  h i  s  au  thor  i  ty? 

H  u  f  f  ;     No,  it  w*=  just  the  chemistry  of  the  time.  It  was,  I  think, 
people's  ambition.  I  think  this  was  one  o-f  [Don]  Bradley's  few  mistakes 
in  judgment.  He  didn't  make  very  many.  But  Pierre  was  so  close  to  him, 
had  been  such  a  part  and  parcel  of  the  operation. 
Morr  i  s ;   Close  to  Don? 
Huff :     Yes. 

Morr  i  s ;   Uas  it  also  partly  that  Salinger  had  been  a  technician  working 
on  the  nuts  and  bolts  of  political  publicity?  One  of  the  questions  I 
have  come  to  have  is  whether  the  kind  of  skills  that  go  into  publicity 
and  government  organization  and  operation,  whether  those  transfer  to 
actually  being  the  elected  office  holder. 

Huff ;     Uel 1 ,  we  could  carry  that  off  into  what's  happened  to  the 
legislature  where  so  many  AAs  [administrative  assistants]  have  become 
legislators.  Uith  a  few  rare  exceptions,  it's  a  disaster  (Congressman 
U i c  Fazio  comes  to  mind  as  an  exception;  he  started  as  a  state 
legislative  AA ,  then  to  state  legislator,  and  is  now  one  of  the  real 
•'comers'  in  the  Congress).  My  notion  of  how  the  system  should  work--and 
I  think  this  was  one  of  Nixon's  probl ems-- i s  that  everybody  ought  to 
bring  something  to  elective  office,  in  terms  of  their  private-sector 
expertise,  experiences  and  exposure.  That  they  have  a  perspective,  and 
some  depth  of  being.  But  this  whole  business  of  somebody  coming  out  of 
college  and  becoming  an  AA ,  and  then  something  happens  to  the  boss,  and 
they  end  up  running  and  becoming-- 
Mor r  i  s ;   Running  for  the  boss'  seat? 
Huf f ;     Yes,  and  the  list  is  pretty  long. 

Morr  i  s ;   The  problem  is  that  they  lack  other  experience,  other  than 
governmen  tal ? 

Huf f ;     Yes,  they  haven't  had  any  broadening  experience.  They  don't 
have  anything  to  contribute,  they're  basically  sterile.  Nixon  came 
right  out  of  the  Navy  in  Uor  1  d  Uar  II.  He  didn't  bring  anything,  other 
than  how  to  play  poker.  Ue 1 1 ,  that's  how  he  got  his  start. 
Morr  i  s;   As  a  poker  player? 

Huff ;     Uell ,  that's  how  he  got  the  kitty  that  he  used  in  his  first 
campaign  for  Congress. 

There's  a  photo  of  George  Miller,  Jr. (late  1960s).  Now  that  is 
a  nice  picture,  but  it  doesn't  do  justice  to  Miller  in  action.  Uhen  he 
was  chair  of  Senate  Finance,  somehow  or  other  it  would  look  like  he 
didn't  even  have  a  neck  at  all.  It  was  just  a  head  sitting  on  his 
shoulders.  That's  right,  all  hunched  down.  And  he  wouldn't  move  his 
head,  he'd  just  move  his  eyes  to  his  colleagues.  Those  were  back  in  the 
days  when  you  didn't  have  recorded  committee  votes,  and  he  would 
announce  the  count  of  the  vote  after  just  calling  for  they  ayes  and 
nays  without  a  roll  call.  (And  as  far  as  I  know,  no  one  ever  challenged 
his  announced  vote  no  matter  how  disparate  it  might  seem  with  the  sound 
of  the  ayes  and  nayes.) 


Morr  i  s :   I  see.  Whichever  way  he  had — ? 

Huf  f  ;     That  s  right.  I  saw  him  once --remember  Randolph  Collier  [Sen. 
(D)  1st  S.D.I,  the  Silver  Fox? — I  saw  him  do  Collier  in  like  he'd  never 
been  done  be -fore.  It  was  a  bill  that  Miller  hadn't  been  briefed  on  (it 
was  a  great  Collier  practice  to  come  in  at  the  last  minute  with  a 
'little  old  bill'  that  was  innocuous  and  he  had  been  carrying  around 
all  session  having  just  then  dropped  his  meaningful  amendments  into 
it),  but  Miller  smelled  a  rat.  So  here's  Collier  presenting  his  'little 
old  bill''.  And  here  are  those  beady  Miller  eyes,  that  are  shifting  back 
and  forth,  while  he's  asking  penetrating,  searching  questions,  until 

:  suddenly you  could  almost  see  the  light  bulb  pop  above  his  head-- 

Morr  i  s :   Miller? 

Huf f ;     Yes,  Miller.  And  he  figuratively  took  out  his  sword  and  just 

cut  Collier  s  head  off,  as  soon  as  he  realized  what  the  Silver  Fox  was 

up  to .  C 1 aughs] 

Huff ;     This  is  an  old  picture  of  Nicholas  Petris.  Back  in  his  more 

youthful  days.  I  have  to  tell  you  about  Petris,  because  he's  the 

closest  thing  I  have  to  a  brother. 

Morr  i  s;   Real  1 y? 

Huff ;     Yes.  I  was  campaign  manager  for  his  first  two  campaigns,  and  I 

was  one  of  two  people  that  talked  him  into  running  the  first  time. 

Morr  i  s ;   For  the  assembly  or  the  senate? 

Huf f :     The  assembly,  back  in  '58.  Nick  was  a  bright  young  attorney,  a 

first  generation  Greek.  We  first  got  acquainted  shortly  after  I  moved 

into  the  fifteenth  assembly  district  in  1949.  We  were  starry  eyed 

idealists  (and  still  are,  believe  it  or  not! --even  with  decades  of  real 

life  political  experience  under  our  belts).  The  young  turks  in  the 

fifteenth  assembly  district  had  run  a  number  of  candidates  against  the 

incumbent  Republican  (Luther  'Abe'  Lincoln).  We  recruited  the  best 

•  candidates  we  could  find,  but  they  were  no  match  for  an  entrenched 
Republ  ican.  To  this  day  I  don't  know  why  Lincoln  decided  to  step  down, 

j  but  we  knew  we  really  had  a  shot  at  the  seat  and  that  we  needed  the 
best  candidate  around.  Nick  was  clearly  the  one,  but  he  was  a  very 
reluctant  candidate.  We  had  to  literally  drag  him  into  the  race.  I 
remember  taking  him  down  to  get  a  campaign  photo  before  he  had  actually 
filed  his  papers.  The  photographer  blew  a  fuse  and  all  the  lights  went 
out.  Nick's  reaction  was  that  that  was  an  omen  that  he  shouldn't  run. 
We  11  he  did.  The  comb  i  nat  i  on  of  his  h  i  gh  cal  i  ber  as  a  cand  i  da te  and  the 
Kn i gh t -Know 1  and  'switcheroo'  gave  the  Democratic  Pary  the  victory  that 
eluded  it  for  the  four  prior  elections.  In  1966,  Nick  moved  up  to  the 
Senate.  Nick  now  shares  the  dean ship  of  the  legislature  with  Senator 
Walter  Stiern  of  Bakers-field.  Their  actual  time  in  the  legislature  is 
identical,  but  Stiern  has  the  edge  because  all  of  his  has  been  in  the 
upper  house.  With  his  retirement  this  year,  Nick  becomes  the  dean. 
There's  an  intriguing  aspect  to  Nick's  batting  average  on 
legislation  that  he  has  authored.  Most  of  his  campaigns  have  not  been 
very  tough,  but  a  few  years  back  he  did  have  a  tough  one.  We  researched 
his  legislative  record  and  it  didn't  have  as  many  big  name  bills  as  we 
would  have  1  iked.  We  began  asking  why  and  soon  turned  up  the  answer. 
The  first  thing  one  needs  to  understand  about  the  legislative  process 
is  that  a  new  idea  or  new  solution  to  an  old  problem  almost  never  gets 
enacted  in  the  session  at  which  it  is  first  introduced.  As  a  matter  of 
fact,  it  may  take  4-5  times  or  more  'around  the  track'  before  the  idea 
even  gets  taken  seriously.  What  we  found  was  that  in  Nick's  case,  he 
was  far  ahead  of  his  time  and  colleagues  in  identifying  problems  and 

1  1 

developing  solutions,  but  he  had  difficulty  in  getting  anyone  to  pay 
any  attention  to  them  until  the  problem  suddenly  became  so  acute  it 
demanded  attention.  About  the  only  'flaw'  I  can  think  of  in  Nick's 
character  <if  it  can  be  called  that)  is  that  he  is  so  selfless  that  he 
would  rather  see  one  of  his  proposed  solutions  enacted  into  law  than  to 
get  the  credit.  We  discovered  that  time  after  time  he  had  passed  major 
legislation  on  to  someone  else  for  any  of  a  number  of  reasons  <his 
evaluation  would  be  that  the  other  author  had  a  better  chance  of 
getting  it  passed  or  a  colleague  ''needed''  his  name  attached  to  that 
legislation  in  order  to  get  himself  re-elected). 

A  good  example  that  comes  to  mind  is  the  legislation  that 
created  the  Bay  Area  Conservation  Commission.  Nick  conceived  that 
proposed  solution  and  lugged  it  around  the  track  a  number  of  times, 
then  turned  it  over  to  Senator  [Eugene]  McAteer  at  the  critical  time 
because  Gene  thought  it  would  help  him  in  his  planned  campaign  to  run 
for  Mayor  of  San  Francisco. 

A  different  kind  of  example  is  the  auto  emission  legislation 
that  was  finally  enacted  by  the  Congress.  Nick  gets  the  major  credit 
for  introducing  the  basic  concept  when  no  one  was  listening.  He  also 
made  a  historical  record  that  may  never  be  repeated  when  he  managed  to 
get  the  identical  bill  introduced  in  six  state  legislatures  at  the  same 

Here  is  an  informal  shot  —  this  is  after  Pat  was  governor.  It 
doesn't  have  a  date  on  it,  but  it  was  after  -'66. 
Morr i  s ;   Now  who's  that  leading  the  band? 

Huff  ;     That  is  Frank  Mesple',  he's  a  tradition  in  himself. 
Nor  r  i  s ;   Really  nice  guy,  yes. 

Huff ;     His  last  act,  practically,  was  to  appear  before  a  class  of 
mine  at  Sac  State  [ Cal  i f orn i a  State  University,  Sacramento]  as  a  guest 
lecturer.  He  had  his  own  class  at  Davis  [UC3,  and  classes  were  just 
starting.  He  had  not  been  teaching  for  a  while  and  was  using  mine  as  a 
warm-up  —  this  was  on  a  Thursday,  and  his  class  was  to  start  on  Monday. 
He  was  a  lobbyist  for  Sacramento  County.  At  the  Franchise  Tax  Board,  I 
occasionally  hired  him  to  come  and  expose  my  bureaucrats  to  what 
lobbying  in  the  legislature  and  in  the  governor's  office  was  all  about. 
We'd  actually  enter  into  a  contract  with  him. 

So  I  picked  him  up  and  brought  him  out  to  the  campus.  Just 
walking  from  the  parking  lot  to  the  class  he  had  to  stop  and  rest--he 
was  having  heart  problems — then  he  had  a  whole  personal  1  ife — 
Morr  i  s ;   That's  what  we  were  told. 

Huf f ;     Disaster  with  his  wife,  and  that's  a  whole  sad  story  in 
itself.  And  his  children  and  everything.  Well,  I  delivered  him  home 
after  class.  He  never  showed  to  his  Monday  class.  Finally  a  friend  went 
to  check,  and  he  had  died  in  his  apartment  sometime  between  Thursday 
night  and  Monday  morning. 
Morr  i  <=, :   That's  a  shame. 

Huff ;     And  this  is  the  classic  one  [photo]  of  Cyr  [ Coper t i n i ].  It's 
the  best  picture  I've  ever  seen  of  her.  So,  if  you  want  to  use  that-- 
Mor  r  i  s :   Yes,  please.  What  a  lot  of  energy,  and  good  humor.  And 

Huf f ;     Oh,  yes.  Those  who  didn't  know  her,  but  were  asked  to  describe 
her  would  refer  to  her  as  that  little  Italian  girl  if  they  knew  her 
name.  The  problem  is  her  maiden  name  is  Mullens,  and  she's  as  Irish  as 
Paddy's  pig!  And,  of  course,  she  goes  back  to  Bill  Ma  lone.  She  was 
Mai  one's  secretary.  That's  the  big  continuity.  In  her  cranium  rests  the 


institutional  memory  ot"  the  Democratic  party  in  Cal  i-fornia  -for  about 

f  i  ve  decades  ! 

Morr i  s :   I  wondered  it  either  of  you  would  know  about  when  Mai  one  was 

leader  of  the  Democratic  party. 

Hu-f  -f  :     She  was  a  teen  age  kid  when  she  went  to  work  -for  him.  And,  of 

course,  in  her  later  years  she  said,  "If  I'd  only  known,  and 

understood—had  the  background..."  to  fully  appreciate  what  was  going 

on  around  her . 

Huf f  ;     This  is  the  1958  Al ameda  County  endorsing  convention,  and 

that's  my  older  son  in  the  front  row.  He's  now  an  attorney  in  a  law 

firm  in  Chicago,  and  a  full  commander  in  the  Coast  Guard  Reserve. 

This  is  the  same  deal ,  with  Pat  coming  into  the  meeting  as  the 
gubernatorial  candidate. 

Anga  Bjornson,  George  Rice,  and  John  Holmdahl.  Holmdahl  had 
been  B j or n son's  student  in  high  school --she  had  run  for  state  senate 
several  times  before  and  lost  back  in  the  old  days.  She  thought  she 
'owned'  the  slot,  but  these  were  new  times  and  one  had  to  go  through 
the  endorsing  process.  All  three  were  therefore  in  bitter,  locked, 
head-on  contest  for  the  endorsement.  Holmdahl  won  the  endorsement,  the 
primary  and  then  went  on  to  win  the  election.  George  Rice  had  cancer 
and  died  within  a  year  or  so,  but  his  supporters  never  forgave  that 
victory.  Nor  did  Bjornson  and  her  supporters  ever  forgive  Holmdahl  for 
turning  his  back  on  his  former  teacher.  (Holmdahl  later  resigned  as 
state  senator  for  personal  reasons,  subsequently  ran  again  and  was 
elected  and  then  was  appointed  to  the  District  Court  of  Appeals  by 
Jerry  Brown  where  he  still  serves.) 

Morr  i  s:   Does  that  kind  of  emotional  split  at  the  local  level,  carry 
over  into  a  gubernatorial  race,  or  a--? 

Huff ;     No, "well,  it  affected  everything  just  because  there  were 
relationships  involved. 
Morr  i  s  !   Within  the  East  Bay"' 
Huff ;     The  East  Bay  and  especially  up  in  the  legislature.  Bob  Cr own 

[state  assemblyman]  was  an  ardent  Rice  supportei and  he  never  forgave 

Holmdahl.  The  one  anomaly  of  all  that  was  Nick.  Nobody  ever  gets  mad  at 
Nick  Petris — exasperated,  yes,  but  never  mad.  He  was  Crown's  close 
friend,  and  he  was  Holmdahl's  close  friend.  But  I  was  Holmdahl "s 
treasurer,  and  Crown  never  forgave  me  for  that. 

Holmdahl  was  his  own  worst  enemy.  Personality-wise  he  left  a 
lot  to  be  desired.  That  was  one  of  those  rough -tough  deals. 

The  Kennedy  Campaign;  Oakland  1959 

Morr  i  s:   Let's  talk  about  Kennedy. 

Huff :     It  was  '59.  I  was  treasurer  of  the  party  (north),  and  I  was 

auditor-controller  of  Oakland. 

You  know,  in  '59  Kennedy  started  his  presidential  effort  in 
A lame  da  County.  This  was  basically,  before  he  was  an  announced 
candidate.  Because  I  was  auditor-controller,  I  was  in  a  position  to  put 
together  the  necessary  security  with  the  police  department  and  get  the 
phones  installed  for  the  press.  Once  there  is  an  announced  campaign, 
the  committee  makes  these  arrangements.  These  days  once  the  candidate 
becomes  the  nominee  of  the  party,  the  Secret  Serv  :?  steps  in  and  takes 
over  security.  (In  the  old  days,  when  an  election  was  close,  the  Secret 
Service  was  the  outfit  to  watch.  When  they  suddenly  appeared  like 


apparitions  around  the  presidential  candidate,  you  could  be  pretty  sure 
you  had  a  w i  nner ! > 

We  provided  Kennedy  a  motor  cycle  escort  (I  can  still  remember 
being  squeezed  between  JFK  and  the  driver  [Osborne  A.  Pearson, 
assistant  postmaster-general  and  later  acting  secretary  of  the  Navy  in 
the  last  six  weeks  of  the  Truman  administration;  and,  a  Holmdahl  aide 
in  later  years]  in  the  front  seat  of  a  borrowed  Continental),  set  him 
up  out  at  Mills  College  with  a  speaking  engagement  before  the  student 
body  and  faculty  with  photo  opportunities  for  Life  and  other  media,  but 
the  luncheon  I  emceed  was  a  disaster  that  Kennedy  never  forgot,  because 
this  state  was  locked  in  pr e-conven t i on  pol  itical  maneuvering,  and  at 
that  point  the  powers  that  be  didn't  want  to  touch  him  or  have  him 
touched,  so  there  was  a  boycott  by  some  of  the  local  leadership.  We 
really  had  a  respectable  turnout,  especially  considering  the 
circumstances,  but  it  wasn't  a  jam,  and  Kennedy  didn't  1  ike  that. 
Nor r  i  s :   Why  were  the  Brown  people  boycotting  Kennedy? 
Huf f  i     Well,  nobody  had  made  their  decision  on  a  presidential 
candidate  in  '59.  This  was  way  premature.  From  this  perspective  it's 
hard  to  remember  that  he  was  not  really  a  heavy  duty  national  figure  at 
the  time.  We  were  just  suiting  up  and  everyone  wanted  to  keep  their 
options  open,  especially  if  it  was  decided  that  the  governor  should  be 
the  favor  i  te  son . 

Morr  i  s :   Right,  but  didn't  you  want  to  take  a  look  at  him,  and  see 
whether  you  might  want  to? 

Huff ;     There  was  a  lot  of  jockeying  going  on.  I  can't  remember  all 
the  details.  I  know  Larry  O'Brien  came  out --you  know  who  Larry  O'Brien 
i  s? 

Morr  i  s :   He  was  party  chairman  at  that  point. 

Huff :     Well,  he  wasn't  at  that  time,  this  was  before  then.  At  the 
time  he  was  just  a  Kennedy  staffer,  but  later  became  his  campaign 
manager.  I  remember  going  to  dinner  with  him,  just  the  two  of  us,  in 
San  Francisco,  and  his  whole  goal  was  to  pump  me  in  terms  of  where 
everybody  was  vis-a-vis  Kennedy.  I  spent  the  entire  evening  giving  him 
the  San  Francisco  tour  which  I  had  developed  for  people.  Every  time  he 
asked  a  pointed  question,  I  would  point  up  to  the  Co i t  Tower,  or  some 
other  landmark.  I  spent  the  whole  night  not  giving  him  any  satisfaction 
at  all  without  out-and-out  stiffing  him. 

Morr  i  s :   Was  Jesse  Unruh  [former  speaker  of  the  assembly;  currently 
California  state  treasurer]  at  that  point  ready  to  throw  in  with 
Kennedy ? 

Huf  j  ;     No,  that  was  preliminary,  this  was  before  all  that.  Nobody- 
real  ly  knew  what  they  wanted  to  do,  and,  of  course  Brown  —  that  was,  I 
think,  the  thing — the  question  whether  Brown  wanted  to  be --or  should 
be — a  favorite  son,  which  he  had  been  before  C'52].  They  hadn't  made 
that  judgment,  and,  of  course,  people  were  having  trouble,  were 
agonizing  over  whether  they  wanted  to  support  Kennedy  or  not  because  of 
the  rel  igious  issue.  There  was  a  lot  of  mental  anguish  going  on.  Then 
there  was  a  slew  of  candidates,  you  know. 

Morr  i  s;   Right.  [Estes]  Kefauver  was  still  around,  and  [Hubert] 
Humphr  ey . 

Huff  :     Ye  s  ,  and  [ S  t  u  ar  t  ]  Sym  i  n  g  t  on  ,  an  d  ,  of  c  our  se  ,  [ Lyn  don ]  Jon  n  son  . 
Everybody  and  his  brother.  That  convention's  delegate  slate  for 
California  was  deliberately  put  together  in  a  balanced  manner  so  that 
everybody  felt  they  were  fairly  represented,  all  the  various 
presidential  leading  contenders  that  is,  so  they  wouldn't  come  in  to 


the  Cal  i-fornia  arid  make  a  bloody  primary  out  of  it.  It  was  to  keep 
everybody  out.  And  that's  what  weakened  the  delegation.  It  was  a 
brill  i an t  move,  but  Broun  always  carried  the  onus  that  he  had  a 
delegation  that  he  couldn't  control.  Well,  it  was  designed  that  way.  I 
was  one  o-f  the  Kennedy  delegates.  (I'm  a  member  of  a  select  group  -from 
the  1956  convention  who  were  Humphrey  supporters  for  vice  president  but 
couldn "' t  stomach  another  round  o-f-  Kefauver  when  HHH  [Humphrey]  -folded, 
so  voted  -for  Kennedy  -for  the  vice  presidential  nomination.) 
Mor r  i  s ;   So  that  when  they  got  to  the  convention  they  could  vote 
proportionately,  according  to  candidate  strength? 

Hu_f_f  :     No.  The  purpose  was  to  keep  the  contenders  out  o-f  Cal  i-fornia 
in  the  primaries,  because  they  -felt  that  would  do  a  lot  o-f  damage  to 
everything  else  they  were  trying  to  do.  That  was  the  main  goal ,  but 
then,  by  the  time  we  got  down  to  Los  Angeles,  the  convention  was  chaos. 
You  know,  Adlai  Stevenson  was  there  as  another  unknown  factor. 
Nor  r  i  s  :   Th  a  t ' s  r  i  gh  t . 

Huff ;     You  had  afl  the  old  Stevenson  loyalists,  of  which  I  was  one. 
My  personal  view  of  Stevenson  was  that  he  contributed  more  to  the 
nation  by  losing  in  '52  and  '56  than  Eisenhower  ever  did  as  a  sitting 
president,  despite  the  current  revisionism  underway  on  Ike's  behalf. 
Mor  r  i  s ;   In  terms  of  getting  people  involved,  and  participation--? 
Huf f ;     Involved  and  motivated  and  inspired,  plus  identifying  the 
problems  of  the  times,  as  well  as  articulating  proposed  solutions.  In 

':  '56  Ivwas  following  Stevenson  around  in  the  Bay  Area  in  various 
capacities,  including  chauffer  ing  him  from  the  San  Francisco  Airport  to 
the  Fairmont  in  an  open  car.  I  saw  him  revising  his  speeches.  He  kept 
staff  up  all  night,  and  a  speech  was  never  set.  It  drove  the  press 
crazy,  it  drove  the  staff  crazy.  At  six.  o'clock  one  morning,  he  was 
still  doing  revisions,  and  in  those  days  they  still  had  to  cut  stencils 

j  and  run  them  off . 

Morr  i  s ;   In  order  to  get  the  text  to  the  press? 

Huff ;     Yes,  the  practicalities.  Of  course,  presidential  candidates 
typically  give  the  same  canned  speech  and  just  drive  everybody  crazy 
the  other  way  with  the  media  and  campaign  staff  listening  to  the  same 
tired,  old  speech.  (Reagan  is  still  delivering  The  Speech!)  The 
'working'  press  is  basically  lazy.  That's  why  Hubert  Humphrey  was 
always  in  trouble  too,  because  he  wouldn't  follow  his  text. 
Mor  r  i  s ;    So  he'd  say  something,  and  the  press  would  be  quoting 
some  thing  el se? 

Huff ;      Yes,  and  they  hated  that.  A  final  footnote  on  Stevenson.  I 
believe  he  still  holds  the  all  time  record  for  being  the  only 
presidential  candidate  in  the  history  of  the  country  who  ever  said 
anything  during  his  campaigns  that  was  worth  preserving. 

Oh,  here's  Judge  0  Gar  a.  That  must  be  a  name  you've  run 
acr  oss . 

Morr i  s :    San  Fr  an c  i  sc  o . 

Huff :      Yes,  Gerald  O'Gara  [(D)  14th  S.D.,  47-553.  He  was  always  my 
favorite  state  senator  back  in  the  good  old  days  before  he  became  a 
judge . 

Mor  r  i  s ;    Now,  why  was  he  your  favorite  senator? 

Huff :      I  don't  know,  just  because  of  his  style.  He  was  always  a 
gentleman,  and  he  was  never  pushy,  never  had  an  exaggerated  sense  of 
who  he  was,  and  always  remembered  my  name  —  to  this  day  (or  at  least 
within  the  last  year  or  so).  For  ego  stroking  purposes,  the  latter  is  a 
pretty  good  reason  all  by  itself! 


And  I  have  my  Joe  Know  land  story  -  my  personal  story  [Jos.  R. 
Know  land.  Publisher,  the  Oakland  ( Cal  I  -f  orn  I  a)  Tribune  and  -father  of 
former  Senator  William  F.  Kn owl  and  -  both  deceased]. 

I  was  the  -first  person  appointed  to  the  A  lame  da  County 

Institutions  Commission  after  the  County  Board  of  Supervisors  changed 
their  pol  icy  and  decreed  that  one  person  could  only  serve  two  terms.  So 
somebody  died,  or  their  eligibility  to  continue  to  serve  ended  under 
the  new  rule,  and  here  I  was,  this  young,  not-dry-beh i nd-the-ear s-guy 
(in  terms  of  knowledge   and  experience  in  the  public  health  field)  in 
his  late  thirties. 

Nor r i  s ;   Are  you  auditor  yet,  or  are  you  still  a  private  citizen? 
Huff  :     The  appointment  preceded  by  several  months  my  being  city- 
auditor -con  trol  1  er  ,  but  my  actual  service  was  primarily  in  that 
capacity.  These  guys  had  been  on  the  commission  since  the  year  I  was 
born  (literally),  including  Joe  Know  land.  So  I  was  the  new  guy  on  the 
block.  I  attended  several  meetings  -  they  were  monthly  luncheon 
meetings  at  Highland  Hospital,  the  old  county  hospital. 

I  had  noticed  that  Joe  came  in  his  chauffered  limousine.  The 
poor  chauffeur  sat  out  in  the  car  for  two  hours  waiting  for  him.  City 
hall  was  just  a  few  blocks  from  the  Tribune  Tower,  so  one  day  I  said  to 
Joe,  "Why  don '' t  I  pick  you  up  and  and  deliver  you,  rather  than  having 
the  car  wa  i  t?" 

He  agreed,  so  I  did.  I  never  was  really  sure  he  knew  who  I 
was,  until  one  day  we  were  driving  down  eleventh  street,  which  is 
one -way,  and  stopping  at  Br oadway--you  have  to  go  around  the  block  to 

drive  in  front  of  the  Tribune  Towei and  he  nodded,  and  pointed  down 

toward  Jack  London  Square.  My  predecessor  tw i ce -removed  [as 
auditor-controller]  had  been  a  coalyard  operator,  and  his  coal  yard  had 
been  located  at  the  foot  of  Broadway.  That  was  the  first  time,  I  was 
really  sure  that  he  knew  who  I  was. 

One  time  —  this  ties  in  with  Houlihan  [John  Charles  Houlihan, 
first  a  councilman,  then  mayor  of  Oakland,  later  sent  to  jail  for 
embezzling  his  attorney's  trust  fund] --the  Tr  i  bune  had  decided  to 
endorse  Houlihan  for  mayor,  and  Knowl and  told  me  that,  driving  back 
•from  Highland.  This  was  a  major  slip  in  the  newspaper  game.  By  the  time 
I  got  back  to  City  Hall ,  parked  my  car  and  was  in  my  office.  Know land's 
secretary  was  on  the  line,  and  she  said,  Mr.  Knowl and  revealed  a 
confidence  which  he  should  never  have  done,  and  asked  me  to  keep  that 
confidence.  (It  was  still  about  three  days  away  before  they  were  going 
to  publish  the  endorsement.)  He  might  die,  or  whatever.  So  I  said, 
sure.  I  never  broke  that  confidence. 

Joe  was  pretty  old  in  those  days.  He  would  sit  at  the 

meetings,  and  would  doze  off,  but  if  anything  came  up  of  interest  to 
him  as  matters  droned  along — it  was  all  done  by  rote;  the  administrator 
r  an  ever  y  thing,  and  e  v  e  r  y  thing  was  c  on  f  i  r  me  d  u  n  an  i  mou  sly.  Th  ere  had 
never  been  a  -'no''  vote  cast  in  the  history  of  the  commission,  as  I 
later  determined.  If  Joe  was  interested  in  an  item,  his  eyes  would  pop 
open,  and  the  minute  he  showed  any  interest,  everything  else  would 
stop,  so  he  could  have  his  say. 

The  first  really  interesting  thing  that  came  up  was  the  first 
go-round  when  the  proposed  budget  was  presented  by  this  administrator, 
who  was  an  old  bureaucrat.  He''s  got  this  document  in  front  of  him.  We 
don't  have  copies  of  it.  He's  presenting  it  and  asking  the  commission 
to  approve  the  budget. 
Nor r  i  s ;   Of  course. 



Hjjf_f  :     I'm  sitting  there,  and,  you  know,  how  am  I  going  to  cope  with 
this?  I  voted  "no" --the  -first  -'no''  in  the  history  of  the  commission,  I 
was  later  told — I  don't  know  i f  that's  literally  true.  And  I  explained 
my  vote.  I  said,  "I  can't  vote  -for  something  that  I  haven't  seen.  In 
good  conscience  I  can't  do  that." 

There  was  a  stunned  silence.  The  administrator,  who  had  jowls, 

,i  and  he  literal!  y-- 
Mor  r  i  s ;   Would  that  be  Dr.  Wh i tecot ton? 

Huff  ;     Wh  i  tecot  ton  ,  that's  the  one.  His  jowls  went  —  like  a  turke> he 

went  purple,  red,  white.  I  thought  he  was  going  to  have  apoplexy  and 

,die  right  on  the  spot.  Well,  what  they  did  was  unprecedented.  They 

'\  created  an  executive  committee  of  the  commission,  made  me  chairman  of 
the  executive  committee,  and  handed  me  the  budget. 
Morr i  s :   Good  heavens! 

Huff;     So  I  took  this  document  awa> 1  didn't  have  anybody  to  work 

with — and  I  went  through  that  thing,  and  I  really  had  trouble  making 

'  heads  or  ta  i  1 s  of  it. 

Morr  i  s ;   And  you're  about  to  be  city  auditor? 

Huff  i     I  was  the  city  auditor-controller  by  that  time.  But  I  just  had 
real  trouble  understanding  it.  I  finally  went  to  Earl  Strathman  [county 
administrative  officer],  and  told  him,  "I  just  spent  umpteen  hours 
trying  to  analyze  this  thing,  and  it  just  doesn't  look  right,  but  I 
don't  have  the  staff  to  analyze  it  in  depth."  He  took  that  budget  and 
literally  threw  it  in  the  wastebasket.  His  staff  prepared  the  budget 
that  year  for  the  county  institutions! 
Morr  i  s ;   That's  what  you  call  zero-base  budgeting! 
Huf f :     [laughs]  That's  my  whole  story  on  Joe  Know land. 
Morr i  s ;   Well,  he  too  is  a  kind  of  t he -end-of-t he-era  figure. 
Huff ;     I  had  a  theory  there.  You  know,  they  used  to  talk  about  the 
'Know land  machine',  and  there  really  wasn't  a  Kn owl  and  machine  at  al 1  . 
These  cats  that  were  on  the  city  council  were  really  incompetent,  the/ 
were  just  terrible  people.  The  joke  used  to  be,  you  know,  any  time  they 
voted  they  had  to  look  over  at  the  Tribune  Tower  and  see  whether  the 
shade  was  pulled  up  or  down.  I  finally  concluded  that  they  were 
second-guess i nq — they  had  no  direct  orders  or  knowledge — what  they 
thought  Old  Man  Joe  wanted.  In  his  later  years — he  was  a  vicious 

son-of-a-gun  earliei but  in  his  later  years  he  was  very  mellow.  He  was 

writing  his  memoirs,  and  all  that  kind  of  business. 

And  just,  from  the  little  exposure  that  I  had,  I  was  convinced 
that  his  philosophy  and  views  on  issues  weren't  anywhere  near  as  harsh, 
or  conservative,  or  reactionary,  as  the  people  that  were  executing 
pol  i cy--they  thought — in  his  name. 

Morr  i  s !   They  were  interpreting  what  they  thought  he  wanted  without 
bothering  to  ask  him? 

Huf f ;     Right,  or  anybody.  It's  kind  of  an  interesting  thing,  and  it 
happens  often.  It  happens  in  state  government  all  the  time.  Everybody's 
always  second-guessing  what  they  think  the  governor's  position  is,  and 
they'll  extrapolate  from  some  other  issue. 

Morr  i  s ;   They  take  what  they  think  the  governor's  position  is,  and  go 
forth  and  say,  I  am  doing  this  because  the  governor  wants  me  to? 
Huff ;     Oh,  yes.  That's  a  great  game. 
Mor  r i s ;   Let's  go  back  now,  and — 

We've  wandered  all  over  the  place. 

Well,  its  fascinating,  and  gives  me  some  marvelous  insight 
into  what  was  going  on. 



The  Early  Years 

Morr  i  s ;   I ' d  like  to  go  back  to  the  beginning  and  ask,  how  you  happened 
to  pick  the  Bay  Area  when  you  got  out  of  the  service  and  had  a  new 
wife,  and  it  you  came  with  an  interest  in  —  ? 

Huff  :     No--my  wife  [Anne  M.  Huff]  had  never  been  west  of  Chicago.  Ue 
were  engaged  twice.  She  was  a  little  Quaker  girl  from  a  suburb  of 
Newark  [New  Jersey].  I  met  her  in  the  fall  of  1940  at  Antioch  [College, 
Yellow  Springs,  Ohio].  She  was  a  transfer  student  from  Earl  ham  College, 
a  small  Quaker  college  near  the  Indiana-Ohio  border.  The  first  time  I 
mentioned  going  to  California,  she  just  about  froze  mentally  at  the 
very  thought.  When  she  went  to  Earl  ham  from  high  school,  her  picture  of 
Indiana  was  of  buffaloes,  cowboys,  and  Indians.  And,  of  course,  in  her 
mind,  if  one  went  further  west,  it  would  just  be  worse! 

I  don't  know  what  it  was.  I '' d  lived  in  California  three  times, 
i  n  term  i  t  ten  1 1 y  — 

Morr  i  s ;   As  a  youngster  growing  up? 

Huff ;     Yes,  and  that  was  where  I  wanted  to  be.  The  specific  thing 
that  brought  me  here  was,  I  had,  after  the  war  started — let's  see 
everything  reminds  me  of  something  else.  I  was  in  the  maritime  service. 
I  joined  in  September  of  '41.  I  went  in  the  Naval  reserve  in  November 
of  '41,  just  a  month  before  the  war  broke  out.  So  we  were  on  this 
training  ship,  the  war  came  along,  and  they  had  us  take  our  ship  down 
to  St.  Petersburg  [FLA] — no  guns,  white  ship,  the  whole  Atlantic  coast 
lit  up,  you  know.  They  [German  subs]  were  sinking  tankers.  They  were 
very  selective  —  they  didn-'t  sink  empty  tankers,  they  waited  for  loaded 
ones,  coming  the  other  way.  We  actually  sighted  a  periscope.  A  sub 
stuck  its  nose  up  and  decided  that  we  weren't  worth  the  torpedo. 

Well,  I  had  quit  college,  which  is  a  whole  story  in  terms  of 
how  I  was  motivated  to  finish  college  after  the  war.  My  accounting 
professoi he  was  my  adviser — did  everything  to  try  to  persuade  me  not 
to  quit  at  the  end  of  my  first  year  of  college.  He  said,  "You  know  the 
odds  against  you  ever  going  back  and  finishing  college  after  one  year- 
are  extremely  high.  Stick  it  out  for  two  years,  and  then  leave.  Your 
chances  are  better." 

Well  ,  it  was  a  money  question — Antioch  was  very  expensive — and 
I  was  going — well ,  that  was  another  question.  I'd  won  some  money,  and 
that  helped  quite  a  bit  on  this.  I  had  won  a  car  at  the  New  York 
World's  Fair  [1940],  and  sold  it.  Never  drove  it.  But  anyway,  I  just 
wanted  out,  and  I  wanted  to  go  to  sea.  My  dad  had  wanted  me  to  go  to 
the  Naval  Academy.  I  didn't  want  to  go  the  Naval  Academy.  My  joining 
the  Naval  reserve  was  kind  of  a  sop  to  him. 

But  I  really  attribute  that  fact  that  I  went  back  to  college 
and  got  a  degree  to  that  challenge  by  Professor  Magruder .  I  had  to 
prove  that  he  was  wrong.  It's  kind  of  an  interesting  thing.  I  had 
applied  for,  and  was  admitted  to  King's  Point,  the  Merchant  Marine 
Academy,  so  rather  than  coming  up  through  the  deck,  you  go  to  the 
academy,  and  in  umpteen  months  you're  a  1  i censed  officer.  Well ,  I  got 
there,  and  after  about  four  months,  I  had  a  4.0  average,  but  the  place 
was  in  total  chaos,  and  here  I  am  nineteen  years  old,  and  I  just 


couldn't  tolerate  sitting  there  in  that  academic  environment  with  the 
war  go  i  no  on . 

So  I  resigned.  There  were  two  ways  you  could  get  a  [mere hart 
marine]  license:  sailing  two  years  on  deck  gave  you  the  required 
experience  to  sit  -for  a  third  mate's  license;  or  going  through  what  I 
considered  the  sterile  classroom  way.  So  I  quit  [school],  much  against 
the  advice  of  all  the  wise -he  ads  there  who  tried  to  tell  me  to  be 
patient.  So  that,  again,  became  a  challenge,  because  I  did  sail  on 
deck,  and  that's  what  got  me  to  California.  I  came  out  to  California  in 
•'44  on  my  honeymoon  to  apply  for,  and  got  admitted  to,  the  officer 
candidates'  school  in  A lame  da,  and  got  my  third  mate's  license  there. 
That  was  in  the  spring  of  ' 45 . 

Mor  r  i  s ;   Did  you  at  that  time  think  that  the  university  was  near 
A  lame  da,  and  you  would  pick  up  the  other  courses — ? 

Huff :     Well,  I  actually  took  some  correspondence  courses  at  sea. 
Let's  see,  how  did  that  work?  I  made  a  trip  before  I  applied  to  DCS. 
Yes,  that's  it.  I  came  out  in  June  of  '44,  middle  of  June,  and  sailed 
within  ten  days.  Came  out  with  a  brand  new  wife.  We  arrived  about  a 
month  after  Libby  CGatov]  and  her  then  husband  [Fred  Smith].  We  stayed 
at  a  hotel  down  on  Geary,  one  block  from  the  theaters,  at  the  Fielding 
Hotel.  Stayed  there  three  days—that  was  the  wartime  imposed 
limit  —  then  found  a  place  over  in  Oakland,  an  old  'Jictorian  that  had 
belonged  to  a  vice  president  of  the  Bank  of  America  [Frank  Belgrano, 
1132  7th  Avenue,  since  demolished].  It  had  been  remodeled  into  wartime 
housing  apartments. 

I  made  one  trip  to  the  South  Pacific,  came  back,  applied  for 
school ,  and  had  several  weeks  to  wait.  It  was  in  those  weeks  that  I 
worked  at  a  shipyard  [Kaiser,  Richmond].  That's  when  I  belonged  to  the 
electrical  workers  [union],  wiring  as  an  electrician's  assistant,  or 
whatever  they  called  them  in  those  days.  But  on  that  trip  I  signed  up 
and  took  an  economics  course,  from  university  extension  [DC,  Berkeley]. 
You  know,  just  trying  to  keep  my  hand  in.  We  had  a  lot  of  time  at  sea. 

And  that  was  my  game  plan.  I  had  decided  that  to  be  in 
pel  i tics,  I  had  to  have  some  kind  of  bread  and  butter  ticket,  and  I 
decided  accounting  was  it. 

Mor  r  i  s :   You  didn't  plan  to  stay  in  the  merchant  marine,  ever? 
Huff ;     I  can't  say  that,  but  Anne  didn't  want  me  to. 
Mor  r i s :   I  see . 

Hut f :     I  had  to  make  that  judgment.  I  was  a  second  mate  shortly  after 
the  war  was  over. 

Mor  r  i  s :   You  mentioned  that  your  wife  was  the  first  one  to  have  an 
official  Democratic  party  position.  Did  the  two  of  you  take  up  politics 
toge  ther ? 

Huff  ;     Basically,  except  that  she  was  here,  and  I  was  away.  I  was 
only  here  intermittently,  and  when  she  hit  here  in  June  of  "44  she  was 
disenfranchised — no  absentee  vote  in  New  Jersey,  and  she  had  to  have  a 
year  residence  in  Cal  ifornia  in  those  days.  She  wanted  to  make  up  for 
it,  so  she  was  going  to  gather  every  vote  she  could  to  make  up  for  the 
lack  of  her  own  vote.  So  she  became  quite  the  political  activist.  She 
was  the  first  one  to  hold  a  party  position.  She  worked  for  an  assembly 
candidate  who  won  the  nomination  over  in  the  City  of  Alameda.  Our 
little  piece  of  Oakland  was  in  that  district.  Because  of  her  work  and 
where  he  lived,  she  was  appointed  to  the  state  central  committee.  It 
was  by  virtue  of  that,  in  '43,  that  she  sat  on  the  platform  when  Truman 
came  to  Lakeside  Park.  He  came  to  the  park  because  nobody  had  any  money 


to  rent  a  hall.  There  was  a  transit  strike  underway,  which  should  have 

discouraged  anybody  -from  coming;  a  lot  o-f  people  still  didn't  have 

automobiles.  Some  25,000  peope  managed  to  get  to  that  park  to  hear 

Harry  Truman.  That  was  the  -first  overt  sign  we  had  that  his  candidacy 

had  something  going  -for  it. 

Nor  r  i  s !   That  there  were  Democrats  out  there  looking  -for  something  to 

be  involved  in. 

Huff  ;     Despite--you  know,  everything  you  read  in  the  paper,  why,  he 

didn't  have  a  prayer.  He  was  having  trouble  getting  enough  money  to  get 

his  train  out  of  the  station. 

Democratic  Party  Activist 

Morr  i  s ;   Did  you  then  continue  working  -for  Truman,  in  the  campaign? 
Huf 4 ;     Oh,  yes,  sure.  Well,  those  were  the  days  of  the  Independent 
Progressive  Party  CIPP],  too,  the  third  party  movement  with  Henry 
Wallace,  and  all  that  kind  o-f  business.  And  there  was  a  big  split  off. 
We  were  the  Trumanites,  and  they  were  the  rebels.  I  still  remember 
being  in  a  meeting  in  somebody's  home,  before  the  I PP  was  -formed,  and 
it  was  part  o-f  the  chemistry  o-f  the  dialogue  that  was  going  on. 
Somebody  bad-mouthed  Eleanor  Roosevelt,  and  that  did  it  -for  me.  I  got 
up,  and  I  said,  I  don't  want  any  part  o-f  this,  [laughs] 
Morr  i  s ;   So  after  the  election  you  just  stayed  involved  in  party 
ac  t  i  v  i  t  i  es? 

Huf f ;     Yes.  Well,  there  wasn't  much  going  on  between  elections, 
because  there  was  no  on -go  ing  structure,  anything  like  that.  It  just 
sort  of  all  came  together  at  election  time.  In  1946,  Will  Rogers,  Jr. 
had  run  for  the  US  Senate.  We  were  active  in  that  campaign.  The  state 
chairman  was  an  Oakland  type  -  Osborne  A.  Pearson.  He  was  kind  of  a 
pompous  character.  As  previously  referenced,  he  was  later  assistant 
postmaster  general  under  Truman,  and  in  the  last  six  weeks  of  the 
Truman  administration,  was  acting  secretary  of  the  Navy. 

As  the  Rogers  for  US  Senate  chairman,  he  threw  Ronald  Reagan 
off  the  committee  for  being  a  commie  I  [laughs]   Years  later,  as 
governor,  Ronald  Reagan  appointed  him  to  the  World  Trade  Commission. 
Pearson  wound  up  being  Holmdahl's  field  man.  Pearson  was  one  of  those 
guys  who  could  tell  stories,  and  had  political  sceneries  that  would 
make  your  hair  stand  on  end. 

Morr  i  s ;   Roger  Kent  says  he  became  aware  of  you  and — who  was  your 
cohort — Martin  Rot hen berg ,  when  you  came  and  volunteered  to  tidy  up,  or 
improve  the  state-- 

Huf f ;     Yes,  I  don't  remember  how  all  that  came  about.  It  just  sort  of 
happened,  I  guess. 

Morr  i  s ;   Tell  me  about  Martin  Rothenberg.  Did  you  and  he  spend  time 
together  thinking  of  — 

Huf f ;     Well,  he  was  a  congressional  district  co-chairman  in  Contra 
Costa,  and  I  was  in  Al ameda  County,  and  we  were  about  the  same  age.  He 
later  became  a  superior  court  judge.  I  think  he's  probably  retired  by 
now,  or  thinking  of  it,  if  he  hasn't.  He  was  [state  committee] 
secretary  at  the  time  I  became  aud  i  tor-con  tr  ol  1  er  .  In  the  year- 
following  my  appointment  I  would  have  to  stand  for  election,  so  I 
stepped  down  as  party  treasurer  and  he  took  my  place. 


Appointment  as  Oakland  Aud i tor -Con tr ol 1 er .  1958 

Hu-f -f  ;     I  was  appointed — that's  a  whole  story,  in  itself,  of  a 
political  operation.  But  I  had  a  period  there  where  I  thought  I'd 
better  be  super  non-par  t  i  san  until  I  was  elected.  So  I  got  off  as 
treasurer  of  the  northern  committee  and  Rothenberg  succeeded  me.  I  then 
succeeded  him,  after  he,  kind  of,  took  the  interregnum  for  me. 

MX  appointment  [as  auditor-controller]  was  a  classic  political 
maneuver --the  incumbent  had  died  in  office.  This  was  in  Max  of  1 95S , 
and  we  were  busx.  We  had  [Nicholas]  Petris  running  for  assembly,  and 
Pat  Brown  running  for  governor,  and  all  that  going.  And  I  had  been 
planning  to  run  for  auditor-controller — that  was  my  political  ambition 
at  the  time.  He  would  be  up  in  the  next  odd  year--' 59--and  that  was 
going  to  be  my  fledgling  run  for  political  office.  So  he  died,  and  I 
threw  my  hat  in  the  ring.  The  citx  charter  gave  the  council  the 
authority  to  make  the  appointment  to  fill  the  unexpired  term. 

Well,  this  is  almost  a  story-book  thing.  Petris,  and  Holmdahl, 
and  several  others  and  I  all  went  to  this  fellow's  funeral  [David 
Rosen].  After  the  funeral,  we  stood  in  the  alley  outside  the  funeral 
home  and  plotted  how  I  could  get  the  appointment.  Holmdahl  was  a  city 
councilman  at  that  time  [and  running  for  the  Democratic  nomination  for 
state  senator],  Petris  was  sign  if cant,  too.  He  was  running  for  the 
Democratic  assembly  nomination  in  our  district,  and  I  was  his  campaign 

manager the  primary  election  was  only  a  few  days  away.  Petris  was 

connected  with  a  fellow  Greek  on  the  city  counc i 1 --Pe te  Tr i pp .  Pete  had 
control  of  a  couple  of  votes.  Well,  the  inside  candidate  was  one  of 
their  fellow  councilman,  who  was  an  accountant.  But  these  councilman 
hadn't  read  the  city  charter.  It  said—flat  out — that  no  one  could  be 
--pointed  to  a  city  position  within  two  years  of  service  on  the 
counc  i  1  . 

They  didn't  know  that,  we  did.  And  on  the  strength  of  that,  we 
put  together  a  second  string  committment:  that  if  the  vote  failed  for 
their  favorite  candidate,  I  would  get  their  votes.  This  meant  on  paper 
we  had  it  locked  in.  One  of  the  councilman  who  should  have  voted  for  me 
d i dn ' t--Anne  had  worked  on  his  campaign — because  he  didn't  believe  it 
cou 1 d  happen . 

My  senior  partner  in  our  CPA  firm — an  old,  reactionary 
Re  pub  1  ican-~  was  getting  ready  to  go  to  lunch  when  I  sat  down  to 
explain  to  him  what  was  going  on j  that  the  council  was  about  to  meet  in 
executive  session  to  determine  who  was  going  to  get  the  appointment.  I 
told  him  it  was  a  long  shot,  but  that  he  ought  to  know  that  if  I  was 
appointed,  I  was  going  to  accept. 

The  other  thing  that  worked  in  my  favor  was  that  Mayor 
[Clifford]  Rishell  had  to  leave  town  to  go  back  east  to  a  conference, 
and  the  city  payroll  was  due.  There  was  nobody  to  sign  the  payroll .  So 
they  were  right  up  against  it,  and  I  think  it  was  the  Friday  before  the 
primaries,  something  like  that.  So  it  was  by  written  secret  ballot, 
after  the  city  attorney  in  executive  session  read  the  charter  to  them, 
to  their  astonishment,  there  they  were  with  their  candidate  down  the 
tubes.  And,  of  course,  we  didn't  know — this  was  a  case  of  whether  their 
political  word  was  worth  anything,  because  these  were  Republicans,  you 
k  n  ow . 

It  held.  I  got  six  votes.  Rishell  voted  for  somebody  else,  the 
guy  who  should  have  voted  for  me  abstained  [Bob  Osbornel,  and  the  ninth 
person  voted  for  somebody  else.  So  I  got  six  of  the  nine  votes.  Our  CPA 


office  was  right  there,  at  14th  and  Broadway—so  our  watcher  just 
walked  across  the  1  ittle  park  there,  and  came  over  and  got  me  —  I  was 
sitting  in  my  office  without  lunch.  I  walked  across  the  street,  was 
sworn  in,  and  when  mx  partner  came  back  from  lunch,  I  was  already  the 
auditor-controller,  and  he'd  lost  a  partner.  (A  footnote:  the  'watcher' 
who  came  for  me,  also  had  managed  to  purloin  the  ballot  papers  and  gave 
them  to  me .  I  kept  them  for  years  as  a  memento,  but  finally  threw  them 
out  .  ) 

My  chief  deputy  had  been  in  city  service  longer  than  I'd  been 
al  i  ve  ,  and  that  was  kind  of  traumatic. 

Mor  r  i  s :   Were  there  some  new  ideas  in  accounting  that  you  thought  could 
be  applied  to  public  administration  and  politics,  or  was  it  the  other 
way  around? 

Huf  f  ;     I  don't  know  that  I'd  call  them  new  ideas,  except  that  the 
city  was  behind  the  times,  let's  put  it  that  way.  Under  my  leadership, 
we  were  awarded  the  certificate  of  conformance  from  the  Municipal 
Finance  Officers'  Association  of  the  United  States  and  Canada.  You  had 
to  meet  certain  standards  for  the  annual  report.  The  city  had  never 
even  tried,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  and  after  I  left  they  lost  the 
certificate  because  they  didn't  get  the  report  out  on  time. 

It  was  a  question  of  meeting  national  accounting  standards  set 
for  municipalities,  and  also  the  timeliness  of  the  report,  the 
formatting  of  it,  and  a  lot  of  different  things.  I  learned  a  lot  at  the 
city.  I  only  had  a  staff  of  about  forty-five.  Everybody  had  been  in 
their  slots  since  the  year  one.  All  divisions  were  small,  and  the 
division  chiefs  each  had  their  little  fiefdoms — it  was  pretty  tough  to 
break  it.  I  worked  on  it  the  soft  way  for  a  long  time,  and  then  one  day 
I  just  announced  that  I  was  going  to  rotate  division  chiefs.  I  thought 
the  City  Hall  was  going  to  crack  right  open.  One  of  my  great 
experiences  —  a  few  months  after  that —  a  division  chief  was  in 
explaining  a  problem  and  giving  his  perspective  as  to  the  solution. 
Suddenly  there  was  this  silence,  he  was  looking  down  at  the  rug,  and  he 
finally  looked  up  at  me,  and  he  had  a  kind  of  haunted  look  in  his  eyes. 
He  said,  "You  know,  if  I  were  still  in  the  other  position,  I  would  have 
given  a  totally  different  recommendation!"  He  suddenly  understood  what 
it  was  all  about  in  terms  of  a  change  in  perspective. 
Mor  r  i  s ;   What  was  it  that  you  hoped  to  accompl  i sh  when  you  took  on 
being  treasurer  of  the  state  Democratic  committee? 

Huff ;     It  really  wasn't  any  lofty  thing.  The  position  had  always  been 
held  by  a  finance  type  of  person,  you  know,  moneybags,  so  it  had  always 
been  kind  of  a  titular  thing.  And  there  were  very  poor  reports,  or 
none.  So  one  objective  was  that  I  thought  that  the  committee  members 
were  entitled  to  a  formal,  written  report  on  the  financial 
condition — that  was  one  innovation. 

The  other  sort  of  just  evolved.  We  had  the  pledges  from  the 
various  counties  to  try  to  contribute  each  month  toward  the  overhead, 
the  rent,  and  minimum  staff.  This  was  in  lieu  of  relying  on  one  or  two 
heavy  angels — big  time  business  types — which  gave  the  operation  much 
more  stability  and  continuity,  and  made  it  less  subject  to  special 
interests.  By  prudent  management  we  did  something — I  hadn't  thought  of 
it  as  a  deliberate  goal  at  the  time --we  developed  a  credit  rating.  We 
had  cr  ed  i  t-- 
Morr i  s;   C laughs] 

Huff  ;     Well,  that's  just  like  having  working  capital. 
Mor r  i  s ;   That  means  you  can  got  to  the  bank  and  get  a  loan? 


Huff  ;     Not  so  much  a  loan  at  the  bank,  but  with  printers,  and  we 

could  actually  order  work  without  paying  for  it  up  front.  Well,  the  old 

game  before  and  since  has  always  been  cash  on  the  barrelhead,  because 

political  organizations  don't  pay  their  bills. 

Mor  r  i  s :   I  thought  it  was  the  rule  in  politics. 

Huf f :     It  is  the  rule.  That's  the  only  exception  I  know.  We  actually, 

because  of  a  long  period  of  paying  our  bills,  gradually  developed  a 

credit  status — which  was  destroyed  [later]  in  a  matter  of  months. 

Because  nobody  else  ever  really  cared,  and  they  just  manipulated  things 

by  not  paying  bills.  It's  a  very  fragile  plant  [credit]  that  has  to  be 

nourished  all  the  time. 

Mor  r  i  s :   How  regular  were  the  county  organizations  in  paying  their 

p 1  edges? 

Huff ;     Irregular,  well ,  some  of  them  were  regular.  But  there  were 

enough  of  them,  and  the  allotment  in  gross  was  more  than  we  needed,  so 

that  if  s.  third,  or  forty  percent  of  them  came  through,  we  could  squeak 

by.  And  enough  would  come  through  erratically.  You  know,  you'd  hear 

!  from  some  place  up  in  the  boonies  that  you  hadn't  heard  from  for  a 

•  while  —  [they]  would  come  in  with  some  money. 
Mor  r  i  s ;   Would  they  make  up  past  payments,  or  would  they  just  send 

.whatever  the y  had  in  the  — 

Huf f :     No,  they'd  just  send  whatever  they  could.  Some  might  make  it 
bu  t  a  smal 1  — 

Nobody  took  i t  as  a  committment,  that  every  month  we  have  to 

A  few  did.  They  were  the  exceptions.  But  there  were  some  real 
eager-beavers.  Of  course,  that  might  last  for  a  while,  and  that 
would  burn  out  when  the  people  changed.  That's  the  price  of 
v  o  1  u  n  t  e  e  r  i  sm  . 

State  Party  Organization.  North  and  South 

Mor  r  i  s;   How  about  southern  California?  Roger  [Kent]  seems  to  have  been 
worried  about  — 

Huf f ;     That  was  a  different  ball  game  down  there.  Different  brand  of 
politics,  different  ambience,  everything.  Northern  California  sort  of 
belonged  to  itself,  and  southern  California  was--we  always  considered 
it  a  political  jungle.  And  I  think  the  difference  was  that  the  L i bby 

Gatovs,  the  Kents,  the  Dempseys,  and  everybod> they  weren't  out  for 

anything.  They  weren't  seeking  something  for  themselves.  They  didn't 
want  power,  or  ambition,  or  position,  they  were  just  workers  in  the 
vineyards.  Down  south  everyone  was  maneuvering  for  power  and  position. 
It  was  just  the  name  of  the  game. 

I  can  still  remember  Jesse  Unruh  when  he  was  speaker  of  the 
Assembly  attending  an  executive  committee  meeting  of  the  state  central 
committee  and  fighting  as  hard  a  battle  for  votes  as  to  where  the  next 
meeting  was  going  to  be  as  he  did  for  major  bills  in  the  Assembly.  He 
just  had  to  win  everything.  Winning  was  the  name  of  the  game,  at  any 

Morris:   Well,  he  was  the  most  visible  person  from  the  legislature  at 
that  point.  How  about  southern  California  party  chairmen? 
Huf f :     It  would  depend  on  who  it  was,  and  of  course — well,  let's  see. 
Bill  Munnell  had  it  once,  and  he  was  a  legislator.  Legislators  made 
poor  party  officials:  they  didn't  have  the  time,  their  scenarios  were 


different,  and  they  had  entanglements  and  committments  that  got  in  the 
wax.  They  just  were  not  the  right  people.  Liz  Snyder ,  to  this  day,  I 
have  alwa>s  thought  she  was  one  of  our  better  cha  i  r men --and  of  course 
she  went  back  to  the  early  days,  back  be -fore  the  party  really  had 
developed  any  strength.  But  she  was  kind  o-f  an  exception.  I  always- 
thought  those  southern  people  were  a  motley  sort. 
Morr  i  s ;   Was  there  an  equivalent  to  the  212  gang  in  southern 
Cal  i  f  or  n  i  a? 

Huf_f ;     No,  there  was  never  the  same  operation.  They  didn't  have  that 
continuity.  There  was  the  whole  cross-filing  problem,  and  that  goes 
back  to  Hiram  Johnson  [governor,  1911-173,  that  practically  insured 
that  there  would  be  no  strong  party  system.  It  just  was  subversive  to 
that.  One  of  the  real  strengths  for  northern  California  was  the  fact 
that  we  had--pre-one  man,  one  vote--had  all  these  senators  up  in  the 
boonies.  You  know  the  State  Constitution  said  that  in  dividing  up  the 
forty  senators  each  must  represent  a  county,  but  in  the  case  of  the 
smaller  counties  a  senator  could  represent  up  to  three  counties, 
regardless  of  population.  So  as  you  divided  all  these  boony  counties 
up,  we  in  northern  California  had  senators  •  com i ng  out  our  ears,  while 
Los  Angeles  had  but  one  senator. 

It  wasn't  right,  but  the  politics  of  it  was  that,  through  the 
special  election  process,  whenever  some  opening  came  along,  you  threw 
all  your  workers  and  all  your  money  in  there.  Gradually,  one  by  one,  we 
would  win  these  seats  in  the  assembly  and  in  the  senate,  but  the  key 
was  the  senate.  Pretty  soon  you  had  it.  You  could  hold  it,  and  they 
were  not  beholden  the  same  way. 

You  know,  the  Stan  Arnolds,  the  Joe  Rattigans,  the  Uirgil 
0 'Sul  1  i vans,  the  George  Miller,  Jrs.,  and  the  Steve  Teales.  They  were 
kind  of  the  key  -five;  they  had  their  own  way  of  playing  the  game.  I 
remember  AB  80-- 

Morr  i  s ;   They  were  the  result  of  your  special  election  work?--or  were 
they  — 

Huf f :     Some  of  them  were.  George  Miller  [father  of  the  present  Contra 
Costa  Congressman]  preceeded  it,  but  Stan  Arnold  was  one  of  the 
products  of  it.  Arnold  was  head  of  the  alphabet,  when  you  called  the 
rol 1 .  So  al 1  Arnold  had  to  do  was  know  how  to  vote,  and  al 1  anybody 
else  had  to  do  was  watch  Arnold,  and  they  knew  where  to  go. 

Working  with  the  Legislature 

Morr  i  s ;  This  was  in  a  state  committee  meeting? 

Huf f ;     No,  the  state  legislature,  we're  in  the  legislature  now,  down 

to  real  produc t i ve-- 

Mor r  i  s :   Down  to  p r odu c t i  v e -- 

Huf f ;     That's  right.  I  ran  into  that  buzz  saw  on  AB  80  [property  tax 

assessment  reform],  trying  to  sell  a  bill  on  behalf  of  Pat  Brown 

[governor,  1959-67].  These  five  guys  would  sit  around  and  decide  who 

had  the  least  interest  in  the  bill,  and  that  was  the  one  that  would  be 

assigned  to  be  their  spokesperson.  It  made  it  very  difficult  to  get  at 

them,  because  any  time  we  wanted  to  talk  about  AB  30  we  always  ended  up 

talking  to  0' Sullivan.  He  didn't  know  two-bits  about  the  bill,  he 

didn't  care  anything  about  it,  and  anything  you  said  was  just  like 

talking  to  the  wall.  They  were  just  tough  to  crack  when  they  played 

that  game.  It  was  great  when  it  was  for  you,  but  it  was  tough  when  it 


was  aga  i  ns  t  you . 

Mor  r i s :   Particularly  if  you'd  wor  k  e  d  w  i  t  h  t  h  em  on  both  sides. 
Huff  :     Right. 

Morr  i  s ;   So  once  you'd  worked  out  the  strategy,  and  started  picking  up 
Democrats  in  the  special  elections,  then  those  duly  elected  senators 
would  become  the  basis  for  a  local  organization? 

Huf f ;     Yes  and  no.  It  varied,  depending  on  the  district.  Again, 
whenever  you  won,  things  tended  to  become  more  personal  than 
organizational,  which  is  just  part  of  the  price  you  pay.  Suddenly  it 
isn't  just  the  organization  per  se .  it's  that  guy's  organza t ion.  We  ran 
u  p  against  it  i  n  Ge  or  ge  P .  Miller  [ U . S . Re  p . ( D >  3th  C . D . — no  r  e 1  a  t  i  on  t o 
State  Senator  George  Miller,  Jr.  or  current  Congressman  George  Miller, 
III],  who  got  into  Congress  on  Roosevelt's  coatt;  Is  in  ''44 — had  to  go 
out  and  buy  a  new  suit  in  order  to  run;  he  was  a  pretty  darn  good 
liberal .  By  the  time  he  retired  in  his  80s  he  was  a  crotchety  old 
character,  but  powerful.  He  had  the  space  committee,  and  had  all  the 
Iwrong  positions  [hawk]  on  the  Viet  Nam  War  —  this  type  of  thing.  My  wife 
: and  he  had  an  exchange  of  letters  that  was  red  hot.  He  was  just  as 
virulent  as  she  was. 

Morr  i  s;   The  fact  that  you  had  been  workers  for  him  since  his  first 
campaigns  didn't  cut  any  ice? 

Huff :     Not  by  then.  Well,  because  —  that's  the  other  thing  that 
happened — especially  with  a  congressman,  from  the  day  you  got  elected 
you  started  to  get  more  and  more  removed  from  your  constituency.  I 
remember  a  Republican,  Johnny  Allen,  coming  back  after  being  defeated. 
He  was  just  scared  to  walk  down  the  street,  because  he'd  been  in 
communication  with  all  these  people  all  these  years,  but  didn't  know 
sanybody.  Theoretically  he  knew  everybody,  but  he  really  didn't  know 
anybody.  I  remember  him  verbal  izing  that  concern  about  coming  home. 
And,  of  course,  a  lot  of  them  never  come  home.  They  stay  in  Washington 
and  become  lobbyists — this  type  of  thing. 

Mor  r  i  s ;   Did  the  group  of  you  working  with  Roger  [Kent]  do  any  work  on 
who  ought  to  be  the  candidate  in  the  special  elections? 

Huff  i     Sure.  That's  again,  part  of  what  Van  [Dempsey]  would  be  doing 
out  there.  He  always  had  people  in  his  hip  pocket  ready  to  pop  up. 
That's  what  he  loved  to  do,  and  the  judgment  factor  in  picking  those 
people,  I  think,  was  as  important  as  anything  else. 
Morr  i  s ;   Were  they  necessarily  already  active  in  Democratic  party 
politics  in  their  d  i  s  t  r  i  c  t  s  ? 

Huf f ;     Not  necessarily.  Of  course  [Richard]  Graves,  on  a  statewide 
basis,  was  the  spectacular  example — he  had  to  change  registration  in 
order  to  run  for  governor  on  the  Democratic  ticket  [1954].  He  had  no 
political  background,  because  he  was  the  executive  director  of  the 
League  of  Cal  ifornia  Cities.  You  know,  he  had  his  own  brand  of 
politics,  but  he'd  never  been  involved  in  partisan  politics.  In 
hindsight,  I'm  not  sure  he  was  a  good  selection,  for  a  lot  of  reasons. 

Unw i  n  n  ab 1 e  Elections 

Mor  r i s :   Graves  said  that  it  was  the  greatest  thing  that  ever  happened 

in  the  world,  in  terms  of  his  personal  1  i f e ,  it  was  time  to  get  out  of 

what  he  was  doing. 

Huff  :     Right. 

Morr i s :   What  better  way  than  to  lose  a  political  campaign? 


Hutf:  But    he    didn't    have    any    real     grounding,     in    terms    o-f    partisan 

pel  i tics. 

Morr i  s :   He's  wondered  whether  or  not  he  was  talked  into  running 

because  Pat  Brown  decided  that  the  election  was  not  winnable  that  year. 

Hu-f  f  :     I  think  that  was  a  major  consideration,  sure. 

Morr  i  s ;   So  would  there  be  times  when  the  people  in  the  deciding  group 

would  say,  we're  not  going  to  work  very  hard  -for  this.  We're  going  to, 

you  know-- 

Hu-f -f  ;     I  assure  you  there  was  almost  every  condition  in  terms  o-f  the 

local  races.  But  one  o-f  the  basic  rules  that  you  1  earn--they '  re 

learning  in  Illinois  now,  and  down  in  Orange  County-- is,  always  have  a 

viable  candidate.  Never  be  caught  o-ff  base.  This  whole  LaRouche  thing 

is  just  crazy.  Even  i -f  you're  -fighting  a  lost  cause,  you  should  be 

running  the  best  candidates  you  can  -find,  and  talk  into  going. 

It's  the  'dripping  water  on  the  stone'  principle,  and  the 
'moss  doesn't  grow  on  a  rolling  stone'  principle.  You  know,  we  worked 
in  the  15th  assembly  district.  We  ran  some  candidates  that  weren't  the 
greatest,  but  they  were  the  best  we  could  -find.  They  broke  their  picks. 
It  wasn't  until  Petris  came  along  that  we  won--  and  that  was  a 
combination  o-f  a  good  candidate  plus  incumbent  Luther  Lincoln  not 
runn  i  ng-- 

Morr  i  s :   There  had  been  reappor t i onmen t ,  redist Meting,  there  at  that 

Hu-f -f  ;     Fi-fty--no,  reappor  t  i  onmen  t  had  been  back  in  '52  [controlled  by 
the  Republicans],  this  was  '58.  But  we'd  been  beating  at  him,  and  I 
guess  he'd  just  decided  he'd  had  enough.  So  it  all  went  together.  The 
[Goodwin]  Kn i gh t-[W i  1 1  i am]  Kn owl  and  switch  lined  everything  up.  No  one 
•fully  realized  it  at  the  time,  because  you  can't  put  all  that  together- 

Morr  i  s :   That  seems  to  be  kind  o-f  the  message  that  you  were  trying  to 
develop,  and  Roger  [Kent]  was  trying  to  develop,  that  you've  got  to 
have  some  continuity. 

Hu-f -f  ;     Continuity.  You've  got  to  have  a  door  open,  and  a  presence, 
and  stability,  and  resources  that  you  can  tap,  and  bring  in  shock 
troops  on  a  -fast  basis.  It  works. 

Morr  i  s ;   How  much  time  did  this  take?  Here  you  were  with  a  responsible 
job  in  Oakland,  and  you're  still  active  in  district  politics,  and  at 
the  state  c  omm  i  1 1  e  e  level. 

Huff  ;     It  was  worse  than  that.  When  I  stood  in  that  graduating  -field 
[Edwards]  in  Berkeley  in  '49,  I  was  working  -full  time,  40  to  50  hours  a 
week,  going  to  school  -full  time,  and  active  in  politics,  and  had  two 
kids.  I  was  pretty  close  to  the  ragged  edge.  I  don't  think  I  could  have 
tolerated  another  day. 

Fam  i  1 y  I ssues 

Hu-f -f ;     Well,  my  adult  children  will  tell  you  that  they  were  neglected 

by  their  -father.  It's  true,  you  know,  they  didn't  get  the  same  kind  o-f 

attention.  In  retrospect,  I  think  I'd  have  been  a  di-f-ferent  kind  of 


Morr  i  s :   I  see  in  some  o-f  those  pictures  some  —  look  like  —  ten  year  old 

little  boys,  at  some  o-f  the  ceremonial  meetings. 

Hu-f  i ;     The  older  one,  the  one  that  you  saw  the  picture  o-f,  he's  the 

closest  to  being  any  kind  o-f  political  activist.  He  [son  Roger]  and  his 


wife  [Kathy]  contributed  to  the  [Harold]  Washington  -for  Mayor  campaign 

in  Chicago,  and  also  when  he  ran  -for  congress  in  Hyde  Park.   Roger's 

•first  "'hands-on-'  political  experience  was  on  an  Antioch  [College]  co-op 

job  [co-operative  work  program:  part  time  spent  on  campus,  part  time 

spent  on  a  job  in  one's  -field]  working  -for  Sen.  Petris  in  one  o-f  his 

c  amp  a  i  gns  . 

horr  i  s :   So  he  went  to  Antioch,  1  ike  his  -father? 

Hu-f -f  ;     Yes,  he's  an  Antioch  graduate,  and  so  is  his  wife,  Kathy.  He 

got  his  law  degree  at  the  University  o-f  Chicago.  I  think  his  work  tor 

Petris  had  some  in-fluence  on  his  becoming  a  lawyer.  He  had  originally 

planned    to    be    an    actuary.    A   New   York    co-op    job    got    him    out    o-f    that.    He 

didn't  like  the  ethics  o-f  the  actuarial  profession. 

Nor r  i  s :   That's  interesting. 

Huff ;     He  had  this  job  in  New  York,  and  also  the  advantage  of  knowing 

a  friend  of  the  family  who  was  with  another  actuarial  firm  in  New  York, 

and  was  able  to  compare  the  two,  and  came  to  the  conclusion  that  it 

w  a s  n '  t  f  o  r  him. 

Morr i  s :   Does  this  mean  that  you  were  in  the  office  in  San  Francisco 

once  a  month,  once  a  week? 

Hu f f :     It  would  depend  on  the  season.  A  lot  of  the  time  it  was 

weekends.  Sometimes  it  was  at  night,  during  the  week,  depending  on  the 

Dollars  for  Democrats  campaign  going  on,  why  you'd  scratch  over  there 

as  soon  as  you  could.  Sometimes  it  was  late  hours. 


The  Ken  n  e  dy  Election 

Huff ;     I  always  forget  that  we  have  to  take  ourselves  back  to  before 
the  time  Kennedy  was  a  national  figure.  From  this  perspective  it's  hard 
to  remember.  But  at  that  time  he  was  a  young  senator  with  no 
legislative  record  to  speak  of,  a  father  with  a  dubious  Democratic 
political  past,  to  say  the  least — he'd  attained  his  wealth  from  bootleg 
1  i  quor ,  and  all  that . 

Senator  Kennedy  had  been  out  here  after  the  '56  convention  at 
a  major  fund  raiser,  and  his  speech  was  an  absolute  flop.  He  was  not 
prepared,  it  didn't  go  over,  and  everybody  was  muttering  about  it.  So 
there  was  all  that,  plus  the  fact  that  there  —  let's  see,  it  had  to  be 
at  least  Symington,  Humphrey,  Johnson,  Kennedy,  Stevenson  and  a  couple 
of  other  miscellaneous — 

Horr  i  s ;   Was  Kefauver  still  in  the  picture? 

Huf f ;     He  may  have  been  talked  about,  but  he  wasn't  viable.  At  that 
point  there  wasn't  any  front  runner,  there  wasn't  anybody  who  really 
jumped  out  as  a  recognizable  national  candidate.  Plus  the  Catholic 
i  s  s  u  e  — 

Morr  i  s:   Was  that  particularly  strong  in  San  Francisco? 

Huff ;     I  don't  know  whether  it  was  strong  as  far  as  the  merits  of  the 
problem.  I  think  it  was  a  concern  because  of  just  trying  to  noodle  the 
politics  of  it.  Is  this  going  to  become  a  political  liability  that  you 
can't  override?  That  really  wasn't  resolved  until  the  Texas  ministers 
confrontation  by  Kennedy,  well  into  the  campaign. 

Morr  i  s:   So  what  you're  saying,  is  that  in  '59,  from  California's  point 
of  view,  he  didn't  really  look  yet  like  a  seasoned,  national  candidate. 

Huf  f  :     Right.  Plus  we  had  our  own  internal  political  problems,  and 

the  question  as  to  whether  we  wanted  to  have  a  "-favorite  son"  candidate 

hadn't  been  resolved — which  would  have  been  Pat  Brown,  of  course.  Then, 

as  the  thing  emerged,  what  really  happened-- i n  those  days,  delegations 

were  selected  on  a  very  controlled  basis,  and  normally  they  were 

selected  to  support  whoever  the  candidate--.  As  a  matter  o-f  -fact,  Brown 

was  our  "-favor  i  te  son"  ,  and  normal  ly  it  would  have  been  100X  Brown 

supporters.  But  this  delegation  was  very  care-fully  selected  and 

balanced,  so  that  every  candidate  that  had  any  potential  of  coming  into 

the  state  had  a  fair  representation,  and  wouldn't  come  into  the  state. 

The  whole  purpose  was  to  keep  all  the  candidates  out,  and  to  prevent  a 

blood  bath  that  would  tear  the  party  up. 

Morr  i  s ;   In  the  primary. 

Huf f ;     Yes,  and  as  a  result  you  had  a  delegation  you  couldn't 

control.  But  it  was  selected  purposely  to  do  that. 

Morr  i  s !   To  not  be  able  to  control  it? 

Huf f :     Yes. 

Morr  i  s ;   Now  that  doesn't  sound  logical  .  I  thought  the  idea  was  to 

control  the  delegation. 

Huff ;     I  know.  Normally  it  is.  I  don't  know  of  any  precedent  for  this 

kind    of    an    operation.    And    Brown    got    a    bum    rap    because    he    couldn't 

control  a  delegation  that  his  people  had  selected  purposely  to 

accomplish  a  specific  objective. 

Morr  i  s :   It  was  Pat  Brown's  idea,  rather  than  Roger  Kent's,  or  Don 

Bradl  ey's? 

Huff ;     No,  no,  not  Pat  Brown's  idea,  he  was  just  a  figurehead.  No  it 

was  Roger,  Don,  Libby  and  the  other  leadership  people.  That  was  a 

strategic  move,  and  very  important  to  the  pol  itical  well  being  of  the 

par  ty  in  Cal  i  f orn  i  a . 

M o r r  i  s ;   So  that  at  that  point  the  concern  was  more  party  internal 

tensions,  rather  than  backing  a  winner  in  the  national  — 

Huff :     Right,  because  nobody  knew  who  the  winner  was  going  to  be,  and 

nobody  was  really  prepared  for  that.  That  was  the  whole  approach.  But 

going  in,  when  we  finally  got  to  Los  Angeles  [site  of  the  '60 

convention],  of  course  all  the  Brown  people  were  for  Kennedy.  Oh, 

Stevenson  was  in  the  act  too,  I  forgot  about  that.  I  still  remember 

Eleanor  [Roosevelt]  standing  up  there  with  her as  a  UN  ambassador,  she 

was  somewhat  constrained,  and  was  supposed  to  be  non-par t i san — big 

Stevenson  button,  as  she  spoke  before  the  convention  [laughs], 

Morr  i  s ;   How  was  the  delegation  put  together?  Was  that  put  together  by 

the  state  central  c  omm  i  1 1  e  e  ? 

Huf f ;     No,  no,  there's  a  tight  little  organizing  commit  tee,  approved 

by  the  candidate,  that  puts  it  together.  In  fact,  I  don't  even  remember 

who  was  i  nvol ved . 

Morr  i  s ;   Regardless  of  the  local  district  caucuses,  and  things  like 


Huff  s  We  1  1  ,    see    that    all --I'm    trying    to    go    back    to    '60    now.     Its 

emerged  a  lot  differently  in  later  years.  At  that  time,  I  think  it  was 

split.  I  think  there  were  some  that  were  locally  selected,  and  then 

some  that  were  selected  by  the  committee.  I  think  it  was  a  two-way 

deal .  I  just  don't  remember  the  specifics  of  the  mechanics.  They  keep 

playing  around  with  it  every  four  years,  and  it's  hard  to  keep  track. 

I'm  not  sure  they've  ever  improved  the  system. 

Nor  r  i  s ;   Later  on  I'd  1  ike  to  ask  you  about  the  "McGovern  reforms,"  and 

whether  you  could  see  them  coming,  or  whether  they  came  as  a  big 


surprise,  the  move  -for 

H_u_f_f  :     I  wasn't  deeply  involved  then,  so  I  wasn't  in  any  inside  —  I'd 

just  say,  in  retrospect,  they  haven't  proven  to  be  the  great 

breakthrough  that  they  were  touted  to  be  at  the  time. 

Mprr i s  i   Back  in  1960,  were  the  people  that  were  making  the 

recommendations  -for  who  should  be  delegates  concerned  about  minor    ~=, 

and  women,  and  ethnics,  and — 

Hut't'  !     Oh,  yes,  there's  always  been  an  attempt  to  provide  that  kind 

of  balance.  That's  been  going  on  -for  almost  as  long  as  I  can  remember. 

Of  course  you  had  what  I  call  the  phoney  balancing  o-f  the  women  in  the 

law,  where  the  state  central  committee  had  to  be  f  i  i  ty-f  i  f  ty .  That  goes 

way  back.  That  was  more  pro  forma,  because  a  lot  of  times  the  regular 

member  would  be  a  -female  spouse,  and  the  alternate  would  be  the 

husband,  and  the  husband  would  be  the  real  political  power.  It  was 

always  put  together  to  comply  with  the  law,  not  the  spirit  o-f  it. 

Morr  i  s ;   Didn't  women  protest  that? 

Hu-f -f  ;     Well,  as  it  emerged  over  time,  they  became  a  little  more 

assertive,  but  this  goes  way  back  be-fore  there  was  such  a  thing  as  a 

woman's  issue.  We're  going  back  into  the  '40s,  it  was  be -fore  that. 

Morr  i  s :   That's  interesting  that  you  say  it  that  way,  because  what  you 

told  me  last  time  we  talked  was  that  your  wi-fe  was  the  one  that  -first 

got  interested. 

Huff  ;     Yes,  but  that's  an  individual  situation,  that  wasn't  the 

pattern  o-f  this  thing.  Yes,  she  was  the  bona  -f  i  de  member,  because  o-f 

her  own  activities.  And  there  was  a  lot  o-f  that,  but  there  was  also  the 

pro  -forma  type.  So  it  was  a  mix.  That's  how  Liz  Snyder  emerged,  because 

she  was  a  bona  -f  i  de  political  operator,  and  the  mechanism  permitted 

that.  But  it  was  a  mixed  bag,  it  had  both. 

Morr  i  s ;   And  a  surprise  when  a  woman  turned  out  to  have  competence,  and 

ideas  on  her  own? 

Hu-f  f  ;     Well,  I  don't  know  that  it  was  a  surprise,  but  she  just 

•floated  to  the  top  on  her  own  merits. 

Morr  i  s ;   In  spite  o-f  the  -fact  that  she  had  some  murky  connections. 

Hu-f -f  :     Yes.  I  can't  remember  what  they  were.  It  was  always  her 

husband ,  I  think. 

Morr  i  s !   Her  husband  [Nate],  and  whether  or  not  he  had  close  ties  with 

[William]  Bonelli  [member,  State  Board  o-f  Equalization],  just  at  the 

point  when  he  was  leaving  the  state  under  indictment  [-fled  to  Mexico 

and  died  there  ]  . 

Adlai  Stevenson  and  the  California  Democratic  Party 

Morr  i  s ;   Since  we  started  with  '59,  and  Kennedy,  could  we  go  back  a 
little  bit,  and  talk  about  how  you  got  involved  in  the  California 
Democratic  Council  [CDC]?  You  said  you  were  at  Asilomar  [the  conference 
center  at  Pacific  Grove  where  the  CDC  founding  convention  was  held  in 
early  1953] — 

Huff ;     I  was  a  scribe.  That's  about  the  lowest  form  of  honor — you 
TooF  notes,  was  what  it  amounted  to.  I  guess  the  real  generative  factor 
was  the  total  shock  of  losing  in  '52.  The  thing  that  sticks  in  my  mind 
after  the  shock  was  in  December  of  '52,  not  too  long  before  Christmas. 
On  a  very  foody  night  people  made  a  pilgrimage,  an  actual  pilgrimage, 
out  to  Diablo  Junior  College  [Contra  Costa  County]  —  it  wasn't  easy  to 
qe  t  there,  it  was  a  narrow  road  with  bad  visibilit> to  hear  Wayne 



Morris  CU.  S.  Senator,  Oregon  (Independent)].  People  just  showed  up 
from  everywhere.   It  turned  into  a  political  wake.  It  was  a  very 
emo t  i  on  a 1  experience  f  or  e  v e  r  yon  e  there. 

At  that  time,  it  was  the  Democratic  party  under  George  Miller, 
Jr.  [state  senator] — unrelated  to  George  P.,  but  the  father  of  the 
present  congressman — and  Alan  Cranston.  George,  Jr.  and  Don  had  always 
been  close --that  goes  way  back.  They  were  the  prime  movers  to  try  to 
establish  some  kind  of  grassroots  base  operation.  There  had  been  a 
precedent  of  sorts  on  the  Republican  side.  They  called  it  the 
California  Republican  Assembly,  and  it  was  an  endorsing  mechanism  to 
get  around  the  law  about  the  parties  supposedly,  not  endorsing  in  the 
pr  i  mar  y . 

Of  course  the  Hiram  Johnson  reforms,  back  in  1910-12,  all 
really  destroyed  any  party  strength  in  California,  with  cr  oss-f  i  1  i  no, 
and  all  that.  So  this  was  a  way  to  try  to  get  around  the  defects  in  the 
law.  Plus  that  defeat  was  the  real  push --everybody  felt  guilty  that 
they  didn't  do  enough,  the  whole  works. 

Morr i  s;   There  sounds  like  a  crusading  element.  Uhat  was  it  that 
motivated  all  of  you  to  put  in  that  much  time? 

Huf f ;     Stevenson  was  a  very  inspiring  person  in  terms  of  where  he  was 
coming  from  and  how  he --see,  he  brought  political  campaigning  to  a 
level  that — my  personal  conviction  is — no  other  candidate  for  president 
had  ever  done.  I'd  block  out  Kennedy,  Roosevelt,  everybody.  I'm  not 
sure  that  Stevenson  would  have  made  a  good  president,  but  he  inspired 
peop 1 e  . 

Morr i  s !   In  terms  of  his  view  of  government,  or  in  terms  of  how  you 
organ  ize  a  political-- 

Huff ;     He  didn't  really  relate  to  political  organizations, 
particularly.  No,  he  inspired  people  in  terms  of  what  the  public 
interest  was  all  about,  and  politics  was  all  about,  and  it's  primacy  in 
our  whole  society.  Just  brought  it  to  a  level  that  I  don't  think 
anybody  else  has  ever  done. 

My  view  of  Stevenson  is  that  he  contributed  more  to  the 

country  running  for  president  twice,  than  Eisenhower  did  serving  eight 
years . 

Morr  i  s  i   And  those  ideas  contributed  to  your  spending  your  1  ifetime  in 
pol  i  t  i  cal -- 

Huff :     Yes,  it's  helped,  it  was  a  driving  force.  Because  it  was  a 
sense  of  ideal  ism  that  you  just  don't  see  very  often.  Pol  itics  gets  to 
be  pretty  humdrum,  workada> — 

Morr i  s;   It's  a  lot  of  hard  work,  the  day-to-da> 

Huff ;     Yes,  a  lot  of  p i ck-and-shove 1  type  stuff,  and  you  need  the 

i  nsp i rat i  on . 

Morr  i  s :   But  it  took  six  years  to  get  the  organizing  conference  put 

toge  ther? 

Huff ;     No,  '53,  January  '53,  it  happened--we 1 1 ,  let's  see,  early  '53 

anyway.  It  may  not  have  been  January — that  sounds  a  little  fast  for 

As i 1 omar .  I  don't  recal 1 --I 'm  not  very  good  on  the  dates — the  first 

real  endorsing  convention  was  in  time  for  the  '54  election,  and  I'm  not 

quite  sure  what  the  timing  was. 

Morr  i  s !   Okay,  I  just  got  the  dates  wrong.  Some  people  said  that 

Cranston  helped  organize  CDC  so  that  in  turn  they  would  endorse  him  for 

statewide  office.  Is  there  legitimacy  to  that? 

Huff ;     I'm  not  sure  what  the  accurate  answer  is.  I  don't  really  know. 

I  can  just  give  you  my  impression.  I'm  sure  his  motives  included  his 


own  desires.  His  focus  has  always  been  -foreign  policy,  so  his  ultimate 
ambition  was  to  be  a  U.  S.  senator.  The  tact  that  he  ended  up  running 
for  controller  was  really  kind  of  a  fluke.  I  guess  it  was  the  only 
thing  around  and  available  —  this  type  of  th i ng--because  he  certainly 
wasn't  qualified  to  be  controller. 

Morr  i  s ;   I  remember  thinking  at  the  time  that  it  was  odd  that  somebody 
that  I  knew  of  as  haying  foreign  policy  ideas-- 

Huf f :     It  was  a  joke  at  the  time  that  he  campaigned — he's  a  very  poor 
speaker,  you  know,  and  his  style  is  stilted.  He's  improved  over  the 
years,  but  in  those  days  he  was  not  what  I  would  call  a  good  speaker. 
And  when  he  went  out  to  make  a  campaign  speech  for  controller,  the 
first  couple  of  sentences  dealt  with  being  controller,  and  before  ybu 
knew  it,  he  was  talking  foreign  pol  icy! 

Morr  i  s;   That's  interesting,  because  in  the  '50s  you  don't  think  of 
people  having  the  kind  of  career  path  plans  that  you  read  about  now  in 
the  daily  papers--that  everybody  must  have  a  career  plan. 

The  CDC  took  a  lot  of  time  discussing  and  putting  out 
positions  on  foreign  policy  matters  too,  didn't  it? 

Huf f ;     Oh,  yes.  Both  national  and  foreign.  We  always  used  to  laugh 
about  the  different  types  of  people:  the  Nancy  S losses  [212  gang 
member,  Pat  Brown  appointments  secretary,  now  a  documentary  film 
producer  based  in  Washington,  DC],  and  people  like  that,  always 
described  themselves  as  "issues  oriented";  and  then  there  were  others 
of  us  who,  although  we  were  interested  in  the  issues,  we  weren't 
fanatics  on  the  subject,  and  we  were  more  "nuts  and  bolts"  type  people. 
My  role  was  very  mundane,  I  was  a  trustee  of  the  council .  There  were 
two  trustees,  or  three  trustees.  Dick  Nevins  [member,  State  Board  of 
Equal  i zat i on ] --no ,  he  wasn't  a  trustee — we  were  both  credentials 
committee  chairmen  [Dick  south,  myself  north],  that's  where  our  paths 
crossed.  But  my  service  as  trustee  was  kind  of  a  ministerial  job  that 
oversaw  the  financing  end  of  it,  and  the  job  was  not  what  I  would  call 
burdensome . 

Morr  i  s !   Less  burdensome  than  being  treasurer  of  the  state  committee? 
Huf f ;     Oh,  yes.  Trustee  was  sort  of  an  oversight  position,  and 
treasurer  was — the  way  I  functioned — it  was  a  working  position.  The 
traditional  way  the  treasurer  functioned  was  as  an  oversight  person,  a 
fund  raising  type  of  person. 

Morris:    Would  you  say  that  the  CDC  spent  more  time  on  issues  than  the 
state  central  committee,  and  things  like  that? 

Huff ;     Yes,  it's  whole  focus  was  on  issues  and  endorsing  candidates. 
Of  course  this  created  stress  and  strain  with  incumbents.  They  never 
really  liked  or  appreciated  the  CDC.  Some  did.  Incumbents  always  had 
control  of  the  state  committee  through  the  appointment  process,  so  that 
was  another  reason  it  was  not  a  very  effective  group.  How  you  maintain 
the  right  balance  of  tension  between  incumbent  office-holders  and  party 
people,'  I  think,  is  a  good  quest i on--how  that's  brought  about. 
Morr  i  s ;   The  whole  idea  of  the  Democratic  party  is  a  little  nebulous. 
There  is  the  state  Democratic  central  committee,  and  it  has  an  office 
and  a  legal  existence,  but  the  state  central  committee  does  not  include 
all  the  registered  voters,  who  may  or  may  not  turn  out  to  work  on  a 
campaign  or  send  money,  is  that  right? 

Huff ;     Well,  the  state  central  committee  members  are  appointed  by  the 
office  holders,  plus  the  county  committee  chairmen,  but  then  the 
executive  committee  is  what  really  calls  the  shots,  and  of  course  the 
leadership  sets  the  agenda  and  steers  the  executive  committee.  The 


executive  committe  is  a  large  committee. 

Of  course  it  involves  both  state  legislators,  constitutional 
officers,  as  well  as,  congressional  incumbents.  So  you've  got  that, 
another  kind  o-f  tension.  And  it  includes  nominees,  not  all  o-f  f  ice 
holders,  and  back  in  the  cross—filing  days,  a  lot  o-f  times,  there 
wasn't  even  a  nominee. 

Morr  i  s ;   Because  it  would  be  a  Republican? 

Hu-f  f  ;  A  Republican  could  have  it.  So  then  there  was  a  mechanism  to 
designate  who  would  f  I  1  1  that  slot.  A  lot  of  mixed  games  went  on  with 
that ,  too . 

Morr  i  s ;   I  can  be  1  i eve  it.  The  nominees  are  members  because  it's  to 
them  that  the  campaign  are  related? 

Hu_fi  :     Yes,  but  that's  the  way  it's  structured  in  the  law.  I  can 
remember  1946,  in  Al ameda  County,  in  our  congressional  district,  on  the 
November  ballot,  George  P.  Miller — the  congressman  who  had  been  -first 
elected  on  FDR's  coattails  in  '44 — was  the  only  Democrat  we  got  to  vote 
•for  in  the  general  election. 

Morr  i  s;   That's  right,  because  Warren  had  won  on  both  tickets  in  the 
June  pr  i  mar  y . 
Huf-f  ;     That's  right. 

Morr  i  s;   So  there  just  wasn't  anybody  in  the  governor's  slot. 
Hu-f -f ;     The  thing  was  wiped  out,  that's  right. 
Morr i  s ;   That  must  have  been  a  very  strange  sensation. 
Hu-f -f  ;     A  sense  o-f  outrage,  that  the  system  just  wasn't  right.  And 
that  kind  o-f  situ  tat  ion  was  a  motivating  -force.  The  whole  battle  for 
eliminating  cross-filing  sustained  the—that  was  an  issue  that  crossed 
all  intra-party  lines.  Everybody  could  agree  on  something  like  that. 
That  was  the  cement  that  held  everything  together. 

It's  only  after  the  party  began  to  be  successful  that  it 
started  to  fall  apart.  Of  course  before  that,  it  didn't  have  anything 

to  hold  together it's  kind  of  an  evolutionary  process.  You  build 

strength  and  then  it  starts  to  erode  on  itself. 

Morr  i  s ;   This  was  the  question  I  wanted  to  deal  with  next.  I  was  really- 
startled  with  this  letter  that  Stephen  Reinhardt  [chair,  Democratic 
state  central  committee]  wrote  to  Pat  Brown  in  November  of  '64.  I  think 
I  sent  you  a  copy  of  it.  Although  it's  dated  '64,  and  you  were  up  in 
Sacramento  by  then,  he's  talking  about  concerns  going  back  two  or  three 
years,  and  he's  talking  about  tensions  within  the  party,  and  what 
looked  to  him  like  efforts  of  some  personal  power  building,  and  some 
people  who  didn't  like  volunteers  in  the  party. 

The  reference  points  were  Kennedy's  loss  in  California  in 
I960,  and  then  the  struggle  over  Clair  Engle's  senate  seat  in  1964. 
Huff  ;     That  [the  Engl  e  struggle]  actually  destroyed  the  party  over 
time.  That  was  the  beginning  of  the  end.  Nothing  was  ever  right  after 
that.  It  created  a  d  i  sse  n  s  i  on  an  d  a  d  i  v  i  s  i  on  that  n  e  v  e  r  r  e  a  1  1  y  h  e  a  1  e  d  . 
That  s  my  p  e  r  son  a  1  v  i  ew . 

Morr i  s ;   Were  there  committee  meetings  at  the  subcommittee  level? 
Huf f ;     Yes,  most  of  this  was  maneuvering  behind  the  scenes.  The  whole 
problem  of  deal  ing  with  Clair  and  his  wife  was  such  a  tough  deal . 
Morr  i  s ;   There  were  those  who  thought  he  would  recover  from  the  brain 
tumor ,  am  I  r  i  gh  t? 

Huf f  ;     Well,  most  of  those  people  had  their  own  agenda,  or  reason  for 
wanting  that  to  happen.  You  know,  there's  al ways-- the  coterie  around 
the  incumbent.  And  with  a  US  senator  that's  a  fairly  large  following.  I 
heard  recently  that  one  of  the  Democratic  candidates  for  the  Board  of 


Equal  i  ration  has  a  fairly  large  legislative  staff  that  he  wants  to  take 
care  of  if  he  gets  elected,  and  doesn't  uNder stand  that  the  number  of 
exempt  appointments  is  limited  to  one  per  Board  member.  So  I  think  he's 
in  for  a  rude  shock  if  he  wins.  I  think  that's — if  I  can  remember  who 
it  is,  there  are  so  many  candidates--!  think  it's  somebdoy  like 
McAlister,  or  somebody  like  that.  [It  was  state  senator  Paul  B. 
Carpenter  who  was  elected  in  November  1986,  and  whose  senate  seat  may 
be  lost  to  the  Republicans  in  a  special  election  still  to  be  called  to 
fill  the  upcoming  vacancy;  assemblyman  Alister  McAlister  was  a 
candidate  for  state  controller  who  lost  in  the  June  1986  Democrtic 
pr  i  mar  y  to  assembl yman  Gray  Dav  is.] 
Morr  i  s :   Somebody  who's  now  in  the  legislature? 
Huf f !     Yes,  one  of  the  current  legislators. 

You've  got  the  problem  of  the  nor th-sou th  relationship,  and  I 
think  I  mentioned  before  that  I  felt  that  the  real  contribution  that, 
Kent  et  al  made,  and  why  things  were  different  up  north,  was  that  there 
were  fewer  people  who  were  self-seeking.  Roger  didn't  want  anything,  he 
wasn't  looking  for  any  appointments,  or  elected  office,  or  anything 
like  that.  There  are  always  people --and  I  don't  think  there's  anything 
wrong  with  it,  I  think  that's  what  keeps  it  going--but  in  the  south  it 
just  seemed  like  everybody  was  out  to  cut  everybody  else's  throat  for 
their  own  personal  ends,  rather  than  the  broader  look,  and  healthier 
for  the  par  ty . 

Thoughts  on  Political  Career  Building 

Huf f ;     Somehow  or  other  you've  got  to  get  your  perspective  in  1  ine, 
and  I've  seen  more  people  end  up  pol  itically  unsuccessful  because  in 
the  position  they're  in — which  could  be  a  non-elected  office,  it  may  be 
only  an  appointed  office—rather  than  make  the  best  judgment  they  can 
on  the  basis  of  the  role  they  have,  and  do  that  job  the  best  way  they 
know  how,  they  constantly  make  decisions  based  on  how  they  think  it'll 
affect  their  ability  to  get  into  the  next  job.  And  that's 
contra-productive.  It  just  doesn't  work,  because  you  don't  have  the 
perspective  to  know  how  to  deal  with  it  until  you  get  there.  People 
destroy  themselves  doing  that. 

Morr  i  s  i   Would  this  be  people  1  ike  Carmen  Wars-haw,  and  Jesse  Unruh, 
around  whom  a  lot  of  controversy  seemd  to  develop? 

Huff ;     I  don't  think  Carmen  ever  had  any  aspiration  for  office. 
Morr  i  s ;   No,  but  she  wanted  to  be  party  chair. 

Huf  f ;     Yes,  she  wanted  to  be  a  pol  itical  maker  and  shaker.  She  was 
known  in  party  circles  as  "The  Dragon  Lady".  I  never  really  understood 

what  drove  hei she  was  a  very  driven  person,  and  played  pol  itical 

hardball,  cutthroat. 

Unruh  didn't  have  the  abil  ity  to  distinguish  between  what  was 
important  and  what  was  unimportant.  To  him  winning  was  important,  and 
power  was  important,  not  the  gradation  of  issues,  and  the  fact  that  to 
exercise  power  most  effectively  you  have  to  be  very  discriminating  in 
doing  it.  If  you're  twisting  somebody's  arm  on  every  issue,  you're 
going  to  break  his  arm,  or  it's  going  to  get  so  sore  he  can't  function. 
You've  qot  to  let  up  on  it  once  in  a  wh i le,  so  that  when  you  put  the 
twist  on,  it  has  a  lot  more  impact.  He  didn't  have  the  ability  to  do 
that  . 

I  mentioned  before,  I  saw  him  fight  as  hard  over  the  issue  in 

executive  committee  of  the  state  central  committee  as  to  where  the  next 
meeting  was  going  to  be,  as  over  a  major  political  issue  on  the  floor 
of  the  assembly.  It  didn't  make  any  sense. 

Morr i  s:   When  did  he  begin  to  put  a  lot  of  effort  into  the  legislature 
itself  raising  money,  and  did  that  then  have  a  bearing  on  how  easily 
the  party  could  raise  money,  in  terms  of  the  state  central  committee" 
Huff ;     The  state  central  committee  was  never  good  at  raising  money, 
and  he  was  in  a  natural  position  to  raise  money.  The  money  he  raised, 
though  —  the  sources  were  totally  different  than  those  that  would 
normally  flow  to  the  party.  He  was  dealing  primarily  with  lobbyists  and 
those  who  had  a  specific  interest  in  the  outcome  of  legislation.  So  it 
was  kind  of  a  different  world. 

And  of  course,  in  those  days,  campaigns  weren't  that 

expensive,  and  a  few  dollars  went  a  long  way.  It  wasn't  that  difficult 
to  put  it  all  together.  But  he  used  to  state  that  it  didn't  matter  who 
contributed  what,  didn't  affect  his  vote.  He  used  to  ridicule  people 
that  would  assert  that,  and  I  think  he's  a  phoney  on  that  subject. 
People  who  contribute  get  attention,  and  they  get  access,  and  they  have 
the  opportunity  to  present  their  side  of  the  case,  and  their  facts. 
That's  influence  anyway  you  cut  it.  And  it  works. 

Morr  i  s ;   Did  you,  and  Roger,  and  Don,  and  other  members  of  the  '212 
gang"  have  any  discussions  about  what  the  implication  was  going  to  be 
of  the  legislative  caucus  developing  from  campaign  funds  and 
ac  t  i  v  i  ties'? 

Huf f ;     I  don't  know  that  we  had  focused  strategy  meetings  on  what  to 
do  about  it,  but  I  think  there  was  a  lot  of  grumbl  ing  about  how 
helpless  we  were  in  the  face  of  that  kind  of  activity.  Northern 
political  activists,  other  than  legislators  and  their  immediate 
supporters,  I  think,  were  not  typically  in  tune  with  the  Unruh  type 
approach  to  politics,  and  his  general  goals  and  ends.  Unruh  never  came 
through  as  anybody  with  any  great  standards,  or  high  ethics,  or 
anything  very  inspiring — as  far  as  I  was  concerned. 
Morr  i  s:   You  mentioned  that  in  1960  Pat  Brown's  "favorite  son" 
delegation,  or  Pat  Brown  himself,  worked  for  Kennedy's  nomination. 
Unruh  was  also  involved  in — 

Huf f ;     On  a  personal  basis.  He  had  his  own  connection  through  Bobby 
[Kennedy]--!  think  it  was  primarily  through  Bobby--to  Jack  Kennedy 
himself.  But  that  wasn't  a  party  thing.  He  was  paddl  ing  his  own  canoe. 
Morr  i  s :   In  terms  of  the  Kennedy  campaign  in  Cal  ifornia,  or  was  it 
other  parts  of  the  country? 

Huff  ;     I  can't  say  definitively.  I  think  just  in  terms  of  his  own 
perception  as  a  power  broker,  basically. 

Morr  i  s ;   What  about  [Steve]  Re i nhardt ' s  concern  about  Kennedy  losing  in 
Cal  ifornia?  If  Unruh  and  Brown,  the  two  major  power  sources,  were  both 
for  h i  m — 

Huf f !     But  they  weren't  for  each  other,  [laughs]   Well,  I  don't  think 
the  Kennedy  loss  in  '60  —  those  things  generally  emerge  as  bigger  than 
the  pushing  and  shoving  of  the  party  workers.  The  party  effort  is 
marginal  at  best,  you  know,  and  it  may  shove  it  a  1  ittle  bit  one  way  or 
the  other--.  This  was  Nixon's  state,  he  was  a  home  grown  character  for 
better  or  for  worse,  and  I  don't  know  what  kind  of  impact  that  had. 

There  were  so  many  variables.  You've  got  the  valley,  which  we 
call  the  'Bible  Belt',  because  of  all  the  migration  from  Oklahoma  and 
other  parts  of  the  mid-west  and  from  the  south,  and  I'm  sure  that  area, 
was  a  hotbed  of  an t i -Kennedy i sm  because  he  was  a  Catholic.  I  don't  know 


that  anyone  ever  analyzed  it  definitively,  but  that  was  one  variable. 
The  economic  situation  is  always  a  piece  of  it.  There's  just  a  lot  of 
intangibles  that  drive  people  that  are  sometimes  very  easy  to  see  after 
the  fact,  but  you  can't  see  when  you  r e  in  the  middle  of  it. 
Morr  i  s ;   Could  you  explain  a  little  more  what  you  said  about  the  party- 
effort  as  marginal  at  best? 

Huff :     Well,  I  think  that's  kind  of  axiomatic,  that  the  number  of 
people  who  are  politically  active  compared  to  the  number  of  voters  i= 
relatively  small.  There  isn't  that  much  impact.  In  the  first  place, 
there  isn't  that  much  actual  action,  and  then  the  action  i s--as  far  as 
ef fee t i veness--d i m i n i shed  in  terms  of  how  many  people  are  turned  around 
as  to  how  they  will  vote.  It's  just  like  a  newspaper  endorsement.  I 
think  a  newspaper  endorsement  used  to  be  a  big  deal  ,  but  these  days 
it's  only  a  marginal  factor,  also.  I  don't  think  there  are  that  many 
people  that  are  swayed  to  change  their  votes  because  of  a  newspaper 
endorsement.  If  they  follow  the  endorsement,  they  were  already  incl  i ned 
to  follow  whatever  position  that  paper  took. 
Morr i s ;   They  were  already  inclined  in  that  direction. 

Huf f :     Yes.  Then  there's  the  whole  question  of  getting  out  the  vote. 
It's  not  good  enough  that  everybody's  sitting  at  home  ready  to  do  the 
right  thing.  If  they  don't  get  to  the  polling  place—we  don't  have 
patronage  in  this  state  —  that's  the  glue  that  normally  makes  for  good 
precinct  operations.  There's  somebody  out  there  doing  it  that  has  a 
direct  financial  interest  in  the  outcome. 

Ray  Sullivan,  from  City  Hall  ['San  Franc  i  sco] —he  used  to  be  up 
here,  I  think  we  mentioned  Ray  [former  member  of  the  Legislative 
Analyst's  staff  and  former  Ways  and  Means  staffer  when  Willie  Brown  was 
chair].  He  was  back  in  Chicago  on  a  publ  i c  works  project  —  this  is 
within  the  last  couple  of  years — and  he's  going  around  with  this  big 
shot  from  Chicago  public  works,  on  various  objectives  in  terms  of  his 
trip.  He  actually  was  there  and  saw  city  workers  collecting  their 
paychecks  at  precinct  headquar ters— that ' s  where  they  went  to  get  their 
checks,  their  city  checks! 

Morr i  s ;   That  sounds  like  the  old  Tammany  Hall  days. 

Huff;      This  is  in  our  time,  you  know.  We  can't  even  relate  to  that 
out  here.  Something  like  that  is — 

Morr  i  s:   In  a  situation  like  that  the  bookkeeping  turns  out  a  check  — 
Huff :     I  don't  know  how  it  happens,  except  that  I  understand  the  way 
the  general  set  up  is,  that  most  party  functionaries — precinct 
captains,  and  this  type  of  thing — also  hold  city  jobs.  So  there's  that 
linkage,  and  somehow  or  other  they  manage  to  remind  everybody  when  they 
pick  up  their  check  where  that  job's  coming  from. 

Morr i  s ;   Well  ,  every  now  and  then  you  run  into  somebody  who  says  that 
it's  an  honor  and  a  privilege  to  be  able  to  put  money  into  so-and-so's 
party  campaign,  because  that's  how  democracy  works.  Does  that  motivate 
many  peop 1 e? 

Huff ;     I  don't  think  so,  no. 

Morr i  s;   Were  there  some  special  "get  out  the  vote"  strategies  that 

Huf f ;     Oh,  yes.  Somebody  usually  had  a  grand  scheme,  and  it  always 
looked  good  on  paper,  but  you  didn't  have  enough  money  to  make  it  work 
usually,  and  something  that's  dependent  totally  on  volunteer  effort  is 
sporadic  at  best.  It's  no  stronger  than  the  volunteer  who  fails  to 
follow  thouah,  or  doesn't  call  the  people  to  get  other  volunteers,  or 
whatever.  And  those  people  are  no  better  than  the  ones  who  say  they're 

going  to  do  something  and  then  don't  do  it. 

Morn i  s ;   But  one  would  think,  that  by  the  time  somebody  arrives  at  the 

ley  el  of  being  on  the  state  central  committee,  or  county  chairman,  that 

they  knew  this  is  what  it  took  to  get  — 

Hut  f  ;     Doesn't  work  that  way.  They  get  there  through  a  lot  o-f 

different  routes,  not  necessarily  through  working  in  the  party.  When  we 

1  ived  down  in  Oakland  where  we  -first  moved  to  when  we  came  to 

Cal  ifornia,  my  wi-fe  had  that  precinct  locked  up,  nailed  tight.  She  knew 

everybody  in  the  precinct  that  was  a  Democrat,  and  she  went  out  and 

hustled  them  to  the  polls  on  election  day,  and  the  whole  thing.  But 

that  was  not  typical .  And  later  when  we  moved  we  never  got  the  new 

precinct  as  organized  as  well  as  the  -first  time,  but  she  was  especially 

motivated  the  -first  time,  and  by  golly  she  did  it. 

Morr  i  s ;   Had  she  learned  this  on  the  job,  as  it  were,  or  had  she  been 

i  n  — 

Hu-f -f  ;     She'd  never  really  been  politically  active  be -fore. 

Party  Divisions  Begin,  1964 

Morr  i  s !   So  when  did  the  volunteers  begin  —  you  know,  the  sense  I  get  is 
that  you  came  in  on  a  wave  o-f  volunteers  with  inspiration  and 
dedication  that  carried  the  CDC  and  the  Democratic  party  along  -freely 
and  strong  1 y . 

Hu-f -f  :     For  quite  a  while,  and  then  it  all  started  to  fall  apart.  I 
think  the  real  beginning  o-f  the  end  was  the  Clair  Engle  problem.  If  you 
really  looked  back,  and  tried  to  track  it  and  analyze  it,  everything 
that  had  been  held  together,  and  a  fairly  unified  approach  to 
everything  up  "til  then--it  became  di;.  E-ive  after  that. 

Engle  was  a  special  breed  of  cat  all  his  own.  He  was  a  free 
wheeling,  kind  of  inspiring  individual.  Colorful  language,  oh  God. 
Morr  i  s ;   He  had  been  part  of  this  party  building  effort,  hadn't  he?  And 
he  had  shared  office  space  with  the  party,  and  with  the  Democratic 
counc  i 1 ? 

Huf f ;     Right.  And  he  was  a  classic  case  of  somebody  coming  from  the 
'boonies'  to  win  a  statewide  office  for  the  U.S.  Senate.  That  was  just 
an  incredible  thing. 

Morr  i  s ;   He  was  the  one — he  and  his  wife  used  to  fly  their  own  plane 
ar  ou  n  d  c  amp  a  i  gn  i  n  g  . 

Huff :     Right.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  I  got  brought  back  from  the  '60 
convention  in  LA  to  Oakland.  Clair  flew  Uan  Dempsey  and  me  back,  and  I 
remember  he  just  putted  down,  and  only  cut  one  engine,  and  we  piled 
out,  and  he  took  off  again.  There  were  just  three  of  us,  I  don't  know 
where  his  wife  was  at  that  point. 

Had  he  been  a  flyer  during  World  War  II? 

I  don't  know.  I  suppose  he  was. 

I  don't  either.  Did  Roger  have  a  personal  friendship  with-- 
Huf  f  ;     Yes,  there  was  a  very  close  personal  bond  there. 
Morr  i  s :   I've  heard  a  lot  abou t— Unruh ' s  said  this,  and  Pat  Brown  said 
it—about  Engle's  illness.  I  don't  know  that  anybody  has  commented,  and 
I  don't  think  Roger  did  in  his  oral  history,  as  to  what  he  thought  was 
the  thing  to  do  when  Engle  became  so  ill . 

Hu-ff:      I  don't  know  anything  definitive.  I  know  there  was  a  lot  of 
agonizing  going  on. 
Morr  i  s:   But  isn't  it  the  kind  of  thing  that  the  state  central 


committee,  or  at  least  its  executive  committee,  i f  they  see  a  situation 

developing  would  say,  these  are  some  of  the  things  you  should  take  a 

look  at? 

H_uf_f  :     An  issue  like  that  never  really  gets  on  the  table.  It's 

back-room  kind  o-f  business.  It's  very  difficult  to  bring  that  one  up. 

That  was  the  real  problem,  because  there  was  always  the  doubt — who  had 

the  definitive  medical  knowledge  as  to  whether  this  was  recoverable,  or 

not?  If  it  was  recoverable,  why  nobody  in  the  world  wanted  to 

jeopardize  the  situation. 

Morr i  s :   There  was  a  brief  recorded  message  from  Engle  that  was 

broadcast  at  a  CDC  convention. 

Huff ;     That  wasn't  good. 

Morr i  s ;   I  don't  know  that  I've  heard  the  tape,  but  I've  seen  the 

transcr  i  p  t  of  it. 

Huff ;     Wasn't  very  coherent. 

Nor  r  i  s ;   It  was  really  heart-breaking,  even  if  you  didn't  know  Engle. 

Huf f :     Well,  I  think  that  was  kind  of  the  beginning  of  the  end, 

because  up  until  that  time  there'd  been  a  pretty  good  cover-up. 

Morr i  s ;   Well,  I  guess  that's  in  the  area  of  speculation,  but  it's 

really  striking  that  a  situation  like  that  can  leave  difficulties  that 

icon  t  i  nue  . 

Huff :     Real  scars. 

Morr i  s ;   Would  it  have  been  different  if  Pierre  Salinger  had  not  come 
upon  the  scene  and  decided  to  run? 

Huf f ;     I  doubt  it,  but  I  think  he  detracted  and  helped  embitter  the 
situation.  Because  at  that  point  he  was  an  out  lander,  pure  and  simple, 
and  politically  that's  the  way  he  ended  up  as  being  seen.  The  problem 
was,  I  think,  Don's  judgment  in  this  thing — I  think  Don  was  the  driving 
force.  I  don't  know  that,  but  that's  just  my  guess.  They  were  very 
close,  and  he  saw  this  as  an  opportunity  to  move  in  with  somebody  that 
he  had  direct,  close  rapport  with.  I  just  don't  think  that  he  was  in  a 
position  to  make  the  best  political  judgment  on  that. 
Morr i  s ;   Don? 

Huff :     Don,  yes.  You  see  Don  and  Cranston  never  got  along  too  well . 
They  were  kind  of  oil  and  water.  I  don't  think  Roger  and  Alan  got  along 
that  well,  either.  I  think  all  of  the  niceties  were  observed.  I  don't 

i think  there  was  anything  overt  that  was  negative,  but  Cranston  just 
wasn't  Roger's  type.  Roger  was  a  very  loose,  open  person,  and  Alan 
always  had  his  own  agenda  and,  in  my  view,  has  always  been  first  and 
foremost,  a  self-seeker,  and  always  played  his  cards  fairly  close  to 

jhis  vest.  He's  a  very  frustrating  person  to  deal  with.  You  know,  he  has 
this  reputation  of  being  a  great  vote-counter,  which  he  is,  in  the 
senate.  He  goes  around  and  tallies  up  the  votes.  But  you  try  to  find 
out  where  he  is  on  something,  and  he's  just  all  over  the  place.  He's 
very  evasive — you  can't  pin  him  down.  He's  the  last  person  to  allow  his 
vote  to  be  tallied.  A  strange  kind  of  situation.  I  can't  help  but 
wonder  if  the  motivating  force  behind  his  vote  tallying  efforts  is  to 
determine  which  way  the  wind  is  blowing  in  order  to  determine  his  own 
vote.  I  don't  mean  to  imply  that  this  is  the  case  on  every  issue, 
because  he  does  have  well  staked-out  positions  on  some  issues.  It's 
just  a  thought,  and  my  own  private  opinion. 

Morr  i  s ;   How  did  that  work  when  he  was  a  candidate  himself?  Would  his 
campaign  mesh  with  what  the  central  committee  was  doing,  when  it  was  a 
st a t ew  i  de  th  i  ng? 
Hu_f  f  :     When  you  say,  'mesh,"  that  assumes  the  state  central  committee 


had  &  we  11 -organ i zed ,  definitive  campaign  as  an  entity  itself.  That 
just  didn't  reallx  occur.  This  is  my  personal  view,  and  I'm  thinking 
out  loud  now.  As  a  statutory  structure,  it  was  sort  of  a  holding 
mechanism  rather  than  a  power  or  force,  and  i  t  kept  things  going.  When 
the  elections  were  in  the  offing,  candidates  got  their  own  campaigns 
going,  and  people  would  peel  off  and  work  the  campaigns  of  t  heir- 
choice  .  And  a  lot  of  times  they'd  be  the  same  people,  but  they  weren't 
working,  per  se .  in  the  official  capacity  of  a  state  committee  person. 
They  were  doing  their  thing  for  a  candidate.  Co-ordination  among 
campaigns  was  a  sometime  thing,  largely  dependent  on  the  personal  i  tes 
of  the  candidates  and  their  managers. 

Of  course,  if  it's  a  gubernatorial  campaign,  the  main  focus 
would  be  on  the  gubernatorial  candidate,  and  most  of  the  other- 
constitutional  offices  would  just  be  along  for  the  ride.  The  use  of  the 
slate  mailer  was  a  device  to  give  the  indicia  of  party  unity,  although 
the  prime  candidate  carried  the  main  part  of  the  cost.  Other  candidates 
often  contributed  only  token  amounts,  or  even  in  some  cases  nothing  at 
al  1  . 

Morr  i  s ;   In  terms  of  the  central  committee's  planning? 

Huff ;     Well,  just  in  terms  of  campaigning.  They're  raising  money--you 
know,  it's  very  difficult  for  the  lesser  candidates  to  raise 
significant  amounts  of  money.  It  didn't  really  matter  too  much  what 
they  did,  but  you  could  never  tell  them  that!  Uan  tried  to  tell 
somebody  that  one  time — it  was  Bert  Betts  C1958  Democratic  nominee  for 
state  treasurer,  swept  in  on  the  Pat  Brown  tide].  Uan  said  to  Bert, 
"Hey,  go  to  Hawa i  i  ,  or  do  whatever  you  want.  It  doesn't  matter,  you're 
along  for  the  ride,  just  put  up  a  pro  forma  front."  Well,  you  know, 
Betts  was  insulted,  because  he  felt  that  he  was  important,  and  that 
everything  he  did  was  vital  to  his  getting  elected.  [Betts  served  two 
undistinguished  terms  as  state  treasurer;  his  main  claim  to  'fame'  (?) 
is  the  court  case  he  won  on  his  pension  rights  that  introduced  the 
escalator  factor  for  retired  elected  officials  that  is  now  an 
unmitigated  scandal.] 

All  candidates  are  susceptible  to  the  ' se 1 f - i mpor tance ' 
disease.  They  may  enter  a  race  on  a  fluke,  or  just  to  keep  a  base 
covered,  or  for  some  other  less  than  substantial  reason.  But  sooner  or 
later,  the  bug  bites  them,  and  they  start  taking  themselves  seriously. 
Morr  i  s;   I  can  see  that,  but  I  would  also  think  that,  even  if  you  think 
being  controller  is  terribly  important,  you  would  think  that  the 
candidate  would  realize  that  being  governor  is  on  a  different  order 
than  being  controller. 

Huf f ;     Well,  I  think  they  do  intellectually,  but  not  emotionally, 
because  their  focus  is  on  themselves.  The  political  realities  are,  that 
the  way  the  top  of  the  ticket  goes  is  the  main  thrust.  There  may  be 
minor  factors  that  affect  the  situation,  but  that's  all  they  are. 

Let's  see,  [Frank]  Jordan  was  the  only  [incumbent] 

survivor — Secretary  of  State  in  '58 — and  I'm  trying  to  remember  the 
Democrat  who  ran  against  him.  That  was  the  most  ignominious  of  al  1  ,  to 
have  a  sweep,  and  then  be  the  one  that  didn't  make  it.  It  doesn't 
mat  ter  . 

What  I  was  thinking  of  was  an  article  I  just  read  the  other 
day  about  some  professor  in  the  mid-west  who's  been  running  a  test  for 
a  number  of  years  with  his  political  science  classes.  He  holds  a  little 
election,  and  he  has  a  whole  list  of  candidates,  and  he  asks  the 
students  to  vote  for  them  in  their  order  of  preference.  The  candidates 


include  actual  elected  officials  that  have  odd-ball  names,  -foreign 
sounding  names,  this  type  of  thing.  Then  it  includes  some  non-elected 
types  that  have  very  apple-pie,  'American"'  sounding  names,  1  ike  Gus 
Hal  1  ,  and — the  whole  1  i  st  of  the  communists.  And,  by  golly,  the 
students  were  uninitiated,  and  didn't  know  any  of  these  people.  And  all 

i  the  communists  would  win  in  these  class-held  elections.  The  professor 
has  been  carrying  it  on  class  after  class,  to  prove  that  the  name  has 
something  to  do  with  it,  and  the  feel  of  whether  i t ' s  foreign  or 
famil  i  ar  .  That's  what  I  was  trying  to  reach  for;  Jordan  is  a  very 
plain,  ordinary  name,  and  the  ticket  in  that  year  was  fairly 

: we  1  1 -bal anced ,  ethnically,  and  the  whole  works.  I'm  sure  that  whoever 

.  the  candidate  was,  he  was  d i sadvan taged  by  his  name. 

Mor  r-  i  s ;   Even  though  the  population  includes  a  number  of  people  whose 
names  are  Polaski,  and  Greenberg,  and  names  like  that?  They  still  vote 
for  Smith  and  Jones. 

•  Huf f  ;     I  don't  know  whether  they  do,  but  there's  a  tendency  anyway. 

.But  that  again,  is  a  marginal  kind  of  thing.  How  these  things  all  add 
up  I  don't  think  anybody  really  knows  scientifically. 
Nor  r  i  s ;   Did  the  party  make  much  use  of  consultants,  or  polls? 
Huff :     Back  in  those  days?  Very  limited.  It  was  just  an  emerging 
factor  in  terms  of  the  tools.  It's  mandatory  now,  but  pre-'60  it  was 
pretty  1  i mi  ted.  And  when  they  were  taken,  they  were  few  and  far 
between.  The  Gallup  poll,  when  did  it  start?  Not  only  the  Gallup  poll, 
but  the  California  [Field]  poll.  I  think  it  only  goes  back  into  the 
'50s  for  California  focussed  polls.  Gallup  nationally  goes  back 
farther.  An  Antioch  classmate  of  mine  had  a  co-op  job  as  a  Gallup 
poll  taker  right  about  the  beginning  of  World  War  II. 

Of  course,  that  existed  before  'private'  polling,  where  the 
candidate  actually  hires  his  own  pollster.  That  hasn't  been  going  on 

; f or  much  more  than  20  years,  or  so. 

Morr i  s:    Well,  1966,  Reagan's  first  campaign  for  governor.  They  had  a 
private  polling  outfit. 

j  Huf f ;      I  think  that  was  part  of  the  basis  of  putting  all  that 

i toge  ther  . 

Morr  i  s ;    Yes,  they  did  a  lot  of  research  during  the  period  when 
Reagan,  and  the  people  who  eventually  became  his  backers,  were  deciding 
whether  or  not  to  go  for  governor.  Then,  I  have  talked  to  people  who 
have  said  that  they  were  already  then  using  some  form  of  the — not 
necessarily  overnight  poll — but  they  were  going  out  and  spot-polling, 
and  found  some  things  that  did  affect  how  they  then  developed  the 
camp  a  i  gn . 

Huff ;      Of  course,  it's  become  so  fast  and  so  sophisticated,  that 
issues  are  changed  in  the  middle  of  the  campaign,  or  in  mid-week,  for 
that  matter.  Back  in  those  days  that  was  unheard  of.  The  first  polling 
that  I  recall,  before  I  was  even  in  California,  goes  back  to  my  college 

days,  when  one  of  my  classmates  was  working  for 1  think  it 

was--Gallup.  This  would  be  back  in  the  early  40' s.  Some  of  the  stories 
he  told  of  how  the  polls  were  conducted  didn't  give  me  a  lot  of 
confidence  in  the  result,  [laughs] 

horr  i  s;    You  still  hear  about  that.  The  alternative  is  —  your 
description  of  Van  Dempsey,  who  knew  people  in  every  county,  and  could 
do  his  own  instinctive  rendering  of  what  was  going  on  there.  That 
reminds  me  of  Roger  Kent  talking  about,  you  know,  they  would  target 
di str i c ts--al so  sounds  like  on  the  basis  of  accumulated  information  of 


the  people  involved. 

Huff  ;      Yes,  it  wasn't  that  scientific.  It  was  based  on  registration 

•figures,  and  the  -fact  that  everybody  knew  that  you  had  to  have  at  least 

a  -five  or  ten  percent  edge  to  be  equal  with  a  Republican  [candidate]. 

Because  the  Republicans  had  a  better  voter  turnout  record,  and  things 

like  that.  And  the  Democrats  had  a  lower  level  of  party  loyalty. 

Mor  r  i  s ;    How  did  you  put  volunteers  to  work  during  a  campaign? 

Huf_f  :      The  tough  part  was  getting  a  rel  iable  person  to  be  in  charge 

of  the  volunteers.  .--'Other  frustrating  thing  was  that  the  availability 

of  volunteers  didn't  always  match  the  time  when  they  were  needed. 

Sometimes  there  was  a  real  problem  keeping  them  busy. 

Mor  r  i  s ;    What  did  you  do  in  those  situations? 

Huf f ;      Better  ask  Cyr  [Copertini,  veteran  professional  campaign 

worker  with  over  forty  years  experience  in  California  Democratic 

politics] — I  don't  know  whether  she'll  admit  it  or  not — how  many  times 

she  took  a  box  of  three  by  five  cards  out  in  the  back  room,  dumped  it 

upside-down,  and  then  brought  it  back  for  a  volunteer  to  alphabetize, 

to  give  them  something  to  do. 

Morr  i  s;    She  did  indeed.  She  d i dn ' t  tell  me  that  she  dumped  it  out,  I 

thought  it  was  just  sort  of  an  endless  task. 

Huff  ;      That  was  an  old  technique.  They  [the  volunteers]  had  to  feel 

like  they  were  doing  something,  and  making  a  contribution.  Or,  how  many 

times  you  went  out  and  spent  some  money  to  have  what  we  called  'snipes' 

[small  posters]  put  up.  For  a  few  hundred  bucks  you  could  snipe  a  bunch 

of  fences.  And  the  only  reason  you  put  them  up --it  wasn't  because  they 

had  any  great  political  effect — but  your  own  workers  had  to  feel  that 

something  was  happening.  So  you  had  to  do  something  visible.  A  lot  of 

times  the  source  of  problems  and  dissensions  were  from  your  own  people, 

not  1 ack  of  work . 

If  you  look  at  the  '58  election,  that  was  the  peak  of 

[Democratic]  political  effectiveness  in  California,  and  all  that  work 
surely  con tr i bu ted--marg i nal 1 y .  But  the  real  reason  we  won  was  because 
Kn owl  and  and  Knight  switched  slots,  and  as  a  consequence  we  had  two 
wide-open  places  [on  the  ballot].  All  the  work  in  the  world  added  to 
the  margin,  but  it  didn't  make  the  win. 

Mor  r  i  s :    But  you  would  think  that  the  same  thing  would  work  in  the 
other  direction.  There  are  times--!  ike  the  troubles  over  Engle's  seat 
led  to  the  election  of  George  Murphy.  That's  sort  of  a  given  in 
politics,  isn't  it?  That  there's  always  something  unexpected. 
Huff ;      Well  the  negatives.  Like  this  1986  election.  This  election  is 
Deukmejian's  to  lose,  not  Bradley 's  to  win.  Bradley  can't  win  this 
election.  Deukme j i an  could  do  something  that  would  make  him  lose  it,  is 
what  i  t  amounts  to. 

So  the  negatives  work  against  you,  sure.  And  Murphy,  again, 
name  [identification],  the  movie  bus i ness--wh i ch  seems  to  be  the  way 
we're  going  to  create  all  our  political  candidates,  now.  We've  had 
Murphy  and  Reagan,  and  now  Cl  int  Eastwood.  I  guess  that's  the  way  to 
go.  What  a  sad  day. 

Morr  i  s !  That  argues  against  the  idea  of  —  I  don't  know  whether  it 
does,  necessarily — the  Republicans  say,  is  there  any  reason  why  an 
actor  can't  have  political  concerns. 

Huf f  ;      Theoretically,  not.  But  I  think  it's  a  sad  commentary,  that 
n  ame  i  de  n  t  i  f  i  c  a  t  i  on  ov  err  i  de  s  an  y  kind  of  subs  t  an  c  e .  Nobody  can  c 1  a  i  m 
that  Ronald  Reagan  brought  any  substance  to  anything,  you  know. 
Morr  i  s ;    Well,  the  ideas  were  already  there.  They  were  looking  for  a 


spokesman . 

Huff  :      Yes,  well,  I'm  not  sure  how  many  real  ideas  there  were. 
Morr  i  s ;    Like  so  many  things  that  happened  in  California  Democratic 
politics  because  o-f  Stevenson,  the  theory  is  that  Reagan  is  the  result 
of  the  Goldwater  campaign  [1964].  Behind  Goldwater  there  had  been  — 
Huf-f  ;      Yes,  I  guess  a  case  can  be  made  -for  that. 

Single  Issue  Po 1  i  t  i  c s 

Morr  i  s !    The  other  thing,  -from  the  political  science  point  o-f  view,  is 
that  in  the  -'60s,  and  more  so  coming  into  the  "'70s,  there  becomes  an 

•  increasing  number  o-f  s  i  n  Q  1  e  -  i  s  s  u  e  organizations. 
Hu-f -f  ;      That's  going  to  be  the  end  o-f  us,  I  think  —  single- issue 

; prob 1  ems . 

,  Morr i  s ;    Were  they  beginning  to  pop  up-- 

i Hut f ;      I  don't  think  the  single- issue  really  became  a  problem 

'until — kind  o-f  Vietnamish,  is  the  way  I  would  put  it.  The  whole  concept 
that  everything  would  rise  or  -fall  on  one  issue.  I  can  remember  trying 

!  to  calm  my  wi-fe  down  one  time,  because — and  that  was  over  Vietnam—she 
had  written  a  hot  letter  to  George  P.  Miller  [Congressman],  and  got  a 
hot  letter  back.  He  was  chairman  o-f  the  Space  Committee  at  the  time, 
and  I  think  served  on  the  Armed  Forces  Committee,  but  am  not  sure. 
A-fter  I  peeled  her  o-f  the  ceiling  I  said,  you  know,  the  world  doesn't 
stand  or  -fall  on  that  one  issue.  You've  got  to  look  at  the  -full 
picture.  Here's  a  senior  congressman  (and  ours  to  boot),  who's  made 
contributions  all  over  the  place  during  the  past  twenty-so  odd  years, 
and  here  you're  trying  to  shoot  him  [down]  because  o-f  this  one  issue. 
That's  the  -first,  in  my  own  recollection,  that  I  really  started  to  see 
the  destruc  t  i  veness  o-f  judciinq  somebody  just  on  one  i  ssue --stand  or 
•fall  . 

Then  this  whole  business,  abortion,  capital  punishment,  you 
name  it.  These  people  are  crazy  people,  you  know.  They  -froth  at  the 
mouth  over  their  one  issue,  and  it  block's  everything  else  out. 
Morr i  s !   How  does  the  single  issue,  as  developed  in  the  last  15  years. 

how  did  that  emerge  -from  the  old  business  o-f  building  a  coalition  o-f 

people  to  go  to  the  legislature  because  you  wanted,  you  know,  more 
money  -for  the  schools,  or  — 

Hut  f ;      There  was,  I  guess,  a  lot  more  give  and  take,  a  lot  more 
tolerance  o-f  where  other  people  came  -from  on  issues.  You  didn't  -feel 

that  somebody  had  to  go  right  down  the  line  and  be  1GOX  on  every  issue. 

Morris:    In  '65  there  were  serious  d  i -f -f  er  ences  between  the  CDC 

E California  Democratic  Council]  and  the  central  committee,  because  the 
CDC  was  much  more  active  in  opposing  the  war  in  'v'ietnam,  even  though 
the  party  pi  at -form  had  a  plank  saying  that  the  war  in  Vietnam  was  not 
very  pr  oduc  t  i  ve  . 

Huft ;      My  theory  on  the  Democratic  party,  nationally,  is  that  the 
real  strength  has  been  the  diversity.  I-f  you  talk  about  radicals  of  the 
right  or  left,  typically  the  Democratic  Party  has  had  kookier  ones  on 
the  right  than  the  Republicans.  And  i -f  you  go  down  south,  the  worst  of 
the  worst  has  been  within  the  Democratic  Party,  and  the  worst  radicals 
of  the  left  have  been  in  the  Democratic  Party,  plus  everybody  in 
between.  In  the  national  convention  process  what  emerges  is  that  the 
battle  is  really  fought  there  trying  to  arrive  at  some  kind  of 
consensus  that  these  disparate  groups  can  [agree  upon ] --nobody  s 


satisfied  but  every bodx  decides,  well,  we  can  live  with  it. 

Professor  Harris  once  put  it  as  well  as  anybody.  He  said,  the 
Democratic  Party  is  like  a  bunch  o-f  alleycats.  They're  always 
scratching,  and  biting,  and  -fighting.  But  you'll  notice  that  when  they 
get  through,  there  are  always  more  cats. 

Morr  i  s;    [laughs]  This  is  Joe  Harris,  down  at  —  [ UC ,  Santa  Cruz] 
Huff:      Yes. 

Morr i  s ;    That's  wonderful.  And  this  is  done  at  the  conventions,  or  is 
i  t  done  i  n  — 

Huff ;      Well,  at  the  national  level  the  only  focus  is  the  national 
convention.  That's  the  only  time  we  have  any  semblance  of  a  national 
party,  really.  When  it  works,  it  works,  and  when  people  take  a  walk, 
it's  very  difficult.  The  IPP  [Independent  Progressive  Party]  in 
'48 — they  were  all  theoretically  Democrats.  [When]  the  South  takes  a 
walk — it's  pretty  hard  to  win  under  those  conditions. 

Morr i  s;    Did  you  begin  to  get  discouraged  with  some  of  these  realities 
of  politics?  Is  that  why  you  decided  to  take  a  Job  in  the  state 
gover nmen t? 

Huff :      No,  it  didn't  go  like  that.  One  of  the  mysteries  to  myself, 
is,  I've  never  really  lost  my  idealism,  under  conditions  which  I  would 
think  I  would  have.  And  I've  examined  that,  and  I  think  the  reason 
is — at  least  my  rationalization  is — that  somehow  or  another  I've  always 
been  able  to  separate  the  theory  and  the  system  from  the  people 
[involved  in  running  it].  I  can  go  before  a  committee  [of  the 
legislature]  and  see  somebody  whom  I  have  no  respect  for,  or  who  I 
think  is  a  crook,  or  whatever,  and  I  don't  nail  the  system  with  the 
fact  that  we  [the  voters]  put  the  wrong  person  in  there. 

Also,  I  feel  that  what  we  get,  basically,  is  what  we  deserve. 
That  it's  pretty  much  a  mirror  of  what  we  are.  And  if  we're  sending  a 
poor  caliber  of  legislator  to  Sacramento,  or  congressman  to  Washington, 
we  get  just  about  what  we  deserve. 

Morr i  s;    How  about  the  corollary  that  in  spite  of  its  imperfections, 
and  the  lack  of  people  paying  attention,  and  taking  part,  that  the 
people  in  the  long  run  usually  make  a  sound  decision? 

Huff ;      Well,  I'll  put  it  a  little  differently  and  I'm  not  sure  how 
sound  a  judgment  it  is.  The  system  tends,  or  has  tended,  to  kind  of 
bungle  its  way  along,  and  we  have  survived.  In  California,  my  concern 
is  that  in  the  last  —  let's  see  if  I  can  put  a  time  on  it  —  at  least  in 
the  last  15  years,  maybe  20  years,  the  legislature  has  ceased  to  face 
up  to,  and  resolve,  the  major  issues  in  this  state.  As  a  result, 
there's  been  greater,  and  heavier  reliance  on  the  initiative,  and  that 
is  destructive  of  the  system,  because  it's  a  poor  way  to  solve  a 
problem.  For  all  its  defects,  the  legislative  process  does  expose  a 
proposal  to  critical  examination,  does  expose  it  to  the  give  and  take, 
the  compromise  process.  Both  party  to  party,  house  to  house,  various 
interests  and  con tr a- i n ter ests ,  and  all  that  abr as i veness .  Although  the 
solution  may  get  watered  down  in  the  process,  there  is  progress,  even 
if  it  only  inches  a  long,  a  little  bit  [at  a  time]. 

When  the  thing  gets  so  stalemated,  that  the  process  can't 
seem  to  make  any  kind  of  decision — it  walks  up  to  it,  then  walks 
awa> — the  system's  not  working. 

Morr  i  s ;    Do  you  recall  when  initiatives  began  to  be  introduced  by 
1  eg  i  si  a tors? 

Huff.  ;      Well,  they've  always  done  it  from  time  to  time,  but  I  think 
it's  become  more  prevalent  in,  probably,  the  last  decade.  I  couldn't 


put  a  precise  time  on  it. 

You  know,  Proposition  13  [ Jarv i s-Gann  property  tax  limitation 
initiative,  19733  was  sort  of  a  watershed  deal.  There  was  a  mechanism 
in  the  state  constitution--!  helped  draft  the  amendment.  I  didn't 
really  like  it,  but  I  think  it  was  a  classical  example  o-f  a  compromise 
that  I  thought  was  d i stastef u 1 --bu t  something  had  to  be  done.  It  was 
called  the  homeowners'  property  tax  exemption,  and  it  was  a  dollar 
amount  that  was  built  in  to  take  the  heat  out  of  the  inflationary 
forces  on  the  property  tax.  That  was  a  legislative  initiative. 
Morr  i  s :    Prop.  13  was  a  legislative  initiative? 

Hut  f  :      No,  no,  wait  a  minute.  I'm  talking  about  the  homeowners"' 
exemption.  We  had  to  amend  the  constitution  to  do  that.  I  want  to  make 
a  distinction.  Ulh  e  n  you  talk  abou  t  legislators  p  r  omo  ting  initiatives, 
what  went  through  my  mind  was  a  Ross  Johnson  [state  assemblyman]  going 

out although  he"'s  a  legislatoi and  starting  an  initiative 

circulation  c  amp  a  i  gn  on  his  own . 

Morr  i  s ;    Right.  That's  what  I  mean,  as  opposed  to  the  measures  by  the 

constitution  that  have  to  go  on  the  ballot. 

Huff ;      Yes,  there's  legislaitve  initiatives  all  the  time,  and  that's 

historically  where  most  of  them  have  come  from.  The  number  of 

grassroots  initiatives  that  are  successful  in  getting  on  the  ballot  is 

fairly  small .  And  it's  only  jn  the  recent  decade  or  so,  really  with 

Prop.  13,  that  the  computer  and  the  sophistication  of  the  signature 

gathering  process  has  become  a  cottage  industry.  If  you've  got  the 

right  size  nest  egg,  you  can  almost  guarantee  getting  something  on  the 

ballot.  So  that's  a  different  deal. 

But  my  point  on  the  homeowners'  exemption  was,  there  was  this 
mechanism  in  the  constitution,  and  the  legislature,  instead  of  staying 
with  it  and  updating  the  dollar  figure  of  the  exemption  to  match 
inflation,  they  Just  ignored  it.  It  was  put  in  there,  and  just  allowed 
to  stay  static.  If  they  had  kept  it  current,  property  taxes  would  not 
have  become  a  major  political  issue.  [The  constitutional  mechanism 
provided  for  updating  the  exemption  figure  by  statute.]  What  happened 
was,  that  there  got  to  be  a  big  brou-ha-ha  about  the  renter,  and  the 
political  forces  representing  the  renter  were  insisting  on  something 
for  them,  and  wouldn't  allow  the  other  to  be  updated,  and  the  plain 
fact  is,  there  is  no  logical,  sure,  measurable  way  to  give  relief  to 
the  renter.  It  can't  be  done.  And  that's  where  the  whole  thing  kind  of 
blew  up.  But  if  they'd  kept  that  homeowners'  exemption  viable,  there 
would  never  have  been  a  Prop.  13.  Simple  as  that. 


Mr.  Huff  Goes  to  Sacramento 

Mor  r  i  s ;    How  did  you  happen  to  come  up  to  Sacramento  and  become 
executive  officer  of  the  California  State  Franchise  Tax  Board? 
Huff ;      Because  I  dot  a  phone  call  from  Alan  Cranston  in  the  middle 
of  a  mee   no,,  asked  me  if  I  wanted  to  be  the  executive  officer,  and  I 
sa  i  d ,  yes . 

I  was  an  elected  city  official  in  Oakland.  I  was  the 
auditor-controller,  and  I  was  in  some  kind  of  meeting.  My  secretary 


pulled  me  out,  and  Alan  was  on  the  other  end  of  the  line.  He  was 
chairman  of  the  Franchise  Tax  Board,  as  controller.  It's  a  three-man 
board,  and  the  incumbent  executive  officer  who'd  been  there  13  years 
was  a  Republican  and  was  retiring  [John  J.  Campbell], 

I  think  I  had  thrown  my  name  in  the  pot  for  executive 

secretary.  State  Board  of  Equalization.  But  I  hadn't  really  pursued  it 
very  much.  That  probably  surfaced  my  name,  but  I  actually  hadn't  put  in 
for  the  FTB .  In  fact,  I'm  not  sure  I  even  knew  there  was  going  to  be  a 
vacancy.  I  don't  know,  I  was  just  ready.  That's  all  I  can  say.  When  he 
asked  me --you  know,  I  needed  to  ask  my  wife!  Move  my  whole  family,  my 
kids,  and  everything. 

Of  course,  it  didn't  happen  for-- that  was  in  May,  or 

sometime — and  it  didn't  take  place  until  the  end  of  August.  I  know, 
because  our  family  was  all  going  on  a  big  trip  back  east,  and  I  had  to 
bail  out  of  that.  I  went  up  to  fdaho,  and  floated  down  the  middle  fork 
of  the  Salmon  River  on  a  raft  (SF  attorney  and  politico  Bill  Gobi enz 
was  my  tentmate  on  the  trip),  while  my  family  went  back  east  to  visit 
relatives,  and  all  that  kind  of  business.  So  it  was  sort  of  a  fluke,  I 
guess.  It  wasn't  anything  I  had  planned,  but  mentally,  and  every  other 
way,  I  was  ready  to  do  it. 

Mor  r  i  s ;    So  Alan  would  have  talked  to  the  other  people  on  that  three 
man  board,  and  said,  this  person — 

Huf f  :      Oh,  yes,  he'd  run  it  —  the  director  of  finance  was  Hale 
Champion.  I'm  not  sure  they  talked  to  the  third  member.  That  was  John 
Lynch --at  the  moment  he  was  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Equal  i zat i on 
[BofE].  The  FTB  consists  of  the  director  of  finance,  the  controller, 
and  whoever  happens  to  be  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Equalization,  which 
rotates  annually.  He  C Lynch]  was  not  very  swift,  politically  or 
technically.  He  was  sort  of  along  for  the  ride.  So  I'm  sure  they 
mentioned  it  to  him,  but  as  an  accomplished  fact. 
Mor  r  i  s :    And  he  was  in  the  minority  as  one  Republican. 

Huf f ;      No,  he  was  a  Democrat.  All  three  were  Democrats  at  the  time. 
No,  he  was  elected,  he  was  part  of  the  '58  sweep.  He  and  Nevins  all 
came  in  in  ' 58 . 

Mor r  i  s :    What  were  the  things  that  interested  you  about  the  FTB,  and 
were  there  some  specific  tasks--? 

Huf f :      Well,  I  was  a  CPA ,  and,  you  know,  administration  of  the  state 
income  tax  came  under  the  FTB.  I  was  more  interested  as  an 
adm  i  n i  s  t  r  a  t  or  than  anything  else.  I  don ' t  k  n  ow  h  ow  to  explain  it. 
Morr i  s;    Neither  the  Franchise  Tax  Board  and  the  Board  of  Equalization 
are  well  known,  and  its  members  even  less  so. 

Huff ;      John  Lynch  was  a  valley  man,  basically.  Not  about  to  go  down 
in  the  annals  as  a  contributor  of  very  much  of  anything.  He  was  a 
go-a longer,  basically.  A  nice  guy,  and  perfect  gentlemen,  very  nice 
guy.  No  great  politico,  however. 

Morr  i  s !    George  Re i  1  1 y  was  still  in  his  heyday,  at  that  point. 
Huff  :      We  1 1  ,  when  you  say  "heyday",  I  don't  know  what  you  mean. 
Morr  i  s :    That  he'd  been  there  when  — 
Huff  ;      He  was  there  a  long  time. 

Morr  i  s ;    Right,  and  when  you  read  about  it  in  the  press — which  was 
usually  the  San  Francisco  press,  in  my  exper i e nee --he  seemed  to  feel 
that  he  was  having  a  significant  effect  on  fiscal  affairs  in 
Cal  i  f or  n  i  a . 

Huf f  ;      About  that  —  [gestures] 
Morr  i  s ;    Not  much? 


Huf  i  :      Zero.  In  -fact,  if  a  constituent  from  San  Francisco  had  a  case 
before  the  BofE,  the  poor  constituent  would  leave  feeling  that,  by 
gollx,  George  Re i 1 1 y  was  really  in  his  corner,  and  George  said  all  the 
right  things.  When  they  [BofE  board  members]  signed  off"  on  a  case,  more 
often  than  not,  he  signed  the  other  way  [opposite  to  the  constituent's 
position].  It  was  all  show. 

He  survived  the  Bonelli  [William  G.]  scandals,  and  up  until 
that  time  he  d i dn ' t  even  know  what  was  going  on.  He  told  me  this 
personally  one  time.  It  was  just  kind  of  luck  that  he  survived.  And  he 
just  went  with  the  flow,  and  he  didn't  know  who  was  doing  what  to 
anybody.  Then  after  that  [the  scandals],  he  decided  he  was  going  to  put 
on  a  show.  He  was  just  an  actor  in  a  scene,  and  it  didn't  mean  a  thing. 
Morr i  s :    I  see.  That's  too  bad. 

Huf f ;      I  would  say  that  he  contributed  virtually  nothing  in  his 
forty-odd  years  on  the  Board  of  Equalization.  I  suppose  I  shouldn't  be 
iso  hard  on  him  because  he  was  generally  a  strong  supporter  of  mine,  but 
jmy  style  is  to  call  them  as  straight  as  I  know  how,  friend  or  foe. 
'Nor  r  i  s ;    From  where  you  sat  on  the  Franchise  Tax  Board,  did  you  feel 
I  that  the  Board  of  Equal  i ration  was  a  necessary  part  of  state 
igover nmen  t ? 
.Huff ;      In  terms  of  function,  or  in  terms  of  theory? 

Morr i  s !    In  terms  of  needing  an  elected  bod> 

Huff :      I  don't  think  that  it  should  be  an  elected  body  at  all.  It's 
totally  inappropriate.  But  it  serves  as  an  administrative  appeals  board 
jto  my  [former]  department.  Not  to  the  FTB  as  a  board,  but  to  my 
I  [former]  department.  And  that  role  can  be  handled  without  a 
constitutional  elected  body.  In  fact  the  administrative  remedy  for  the 
taxpayer  should  be  provided  by  an  independent  board  appointed  by  the 
governor.  That's  the  way  it  should  be  handled. 

What  we  have,  grew  1  ike  Topsy.  It  started  out  with — this  is  a 
whole  subject,  but--.  You  know,  in  the  late  '20s,  the  Board  of 
Equalization  was  a  handful  of  people,  staff.  All  it  did  was  equalize 
the  property  tax  rolls  between  counties — and  they  didn't  do  much  of  a 
job  on  that—and  actually  assess  the  public  utility  roll.  That  was  a 
•fairly  sma  1  1  function. 

When  the  sales  tax  came  along,  that's  what  expanded  the 
department.  The  same  [legislative]  package  that  had  the  sales  tax  had 
the  income  tax.  This  was  in  the  depth  of  the  depression,  and  there  was 
divisiveness  between  rural  and  labor  [political]  forces,  and  the  income 
tax  did  not  pass  that  time.  If  it  had,  it  undoubtedly  would  have 
been — because  the  package  was  put  together  by  Riley  [Ray  L . ] ,  the 
controller,  and  Stewart  [Fred  E.3,  the  chairman  of  the  Board  of 
Equal  ization — the  income  tax  would  have  been  administered  by  the  Board 
of  Equalization,  today. 

They  [the  legislature]  doubled  back.  A  couple  of  years  later 
they  managed  to  get  the  income  tax  enacted — personal  inome  tax.  There 
was  already  a  corporate  tax.  By  that  time  the  political  climate  was 
such  that  they  did  not  want  to  attach  the  income  tax  to  the  Board  of 
Equalization.  There  was  the  Franchise  Tax  Commissioner  [Charles  J. 
McColgan]  —  it  was  not  a  board  then  —  and  so  they  threw  it  to  him. 

Now  also  in  the  depression,  when  they  enacted  the  amendment 
to  the  constitution  that  created  the  [state]  civil  service,  when  they 
did  it,  through  an  error  in  draf tmansh i p ,  they  forget  about  the 
Franchise  Tax  Commissioner  [it  was  a  v  e  r  y  low  profile  position].  Since 
the  civil  service  amendment  was  silent  with  respect  to  the  position  of 


Franchise  Tax  Commissioner,  there  was  no  way  to  remove  the  incumbent! 
He  had  been  appointed  by  a  committee,  and  the  comm i t tee--when  the  act 
was  passed,  back  in  '' 29 , --cons  i  sted  of  the  state  controller,  the 
chairman  of  the  Board  of  Equalization,  and  the  director  of  finance. 

McColgan  was  the  commissioner  -from  about  ''31  through  the  end 
o-f  "49.  He  was  16  years  at  that  —  no,  he  was  longer  than  that.  He  was  19 
years.  [Caspar]  Weinberger  [currently  Secretary  o-f  De-fense  and  a 
distant  cousin  o-f  Huff's  daughter-in-law,  Kathy  Hu-f-f]  was  a  state 
assemblyman  at  the  time.  He  led  an  investigative  committee,  and  there 
were  some  other  powers  and  forces  at  work.  What  had  happened,  is  that 
McColgan  had  become  a  rec  1  use  —  some  say  he  was  an  alcoholic--!  don't 
know.  The  evidence  is  that  he  was  at  least  a  recluse.  He  would  go  into 
his  office  in  San  Franc i sco--he  never  came  to  Sacramento.  The  operation 
up  here  was  run  by  a  deputy  [William  M.  Walsh],  He  [McColgan]  would  go 
into  his  office  there  [San  Francisco],  and  his  own  employees  never  knew 
him  at  work.  He  would  shut  the  door,  and  that  was  it. 

At  some  time  during  all  this,  he  was  forced  to  come  to 
Sacramento  and  testify  before  the  committee  on  the  operation  of  his 
department,  and  he  didn't  know  beans.  He  didn't  know  his  own  budget,  he 
didn't  know  anything.  It  was  a  scandal ,  it  was  an  absolute  scandal .  Not 
a  scandal  of  conscious  wrong-doing,  just  a  scandal  of  inaction,  so  to 
speak,  non-direction.  His  department  was  stodgy,  but  reasonably  well 
run,  thanks  to  the  civil  servants,  but  not  to  him. 

That's  when  they  found  out  they  had  no  way  of  removing  him. 
So  what  they  did,  is  they  abolished  his  position,  and  created  the 
Franchise  Tax  Board,  which  was  the  appointing  committee.  [The 
legislature]  turned  all  the  powers  of  the  commissioner  over  to  the 
board,  and  it  then  turned  around  and  delegated  all  those  powers  back  to 
the  executive  officer — except  the  appointment  of  the  executive  officer, 
the  adoption  of  regulations,  and  the  setting  of  the  bank  tax  rate,  all 
Mickey  Mouse  kind  of  business,  other  than  appointing  the  executive 
of f  i  cer  . 

A  Question  of  Style 

Mor r  i  s :    Were  there  some  things  that  Alan  thought  ought  to  be  done,  or 
that  Pat  Brown  thought  ought  to  be  done,  or  was  it  purely  that  they 
wanted  a  competent  person? 

Huf f ;      That's  it,  and  the  interesting  charge  that  I  got  from 
Champion  and  Cranston  was,  we  don't  really  want  to  know  anything — keep 
us  out  of  trouble.  Go  run  the  show,  that  s  what  it  amounted  to.  And,  of 
course,  the  concept  was  to  make  it  independent  of  politics,  and  that's 
the  way  I  approached  i t--to  a  lot  of  people's  dissatisfaction,  but 
that's  the  way  I  thought  it  had  to  be. 

Mor  r  i  s :    Was  there  considerable  pressure  to  administer-- 
Huf f ;      Not  under  me  there  wasn't.  Nobody  had  the  guts  to  try.  I 
learned  that  down  at  City  Hall,  that  if  you  set  the  environment  right 
you  save  yourself  a  lot  of  trouble,  because  people  aren't  going  to  ask 
you  [to  do]  inappropriate  things,  because  they  know  it  won't  work.  So 
you  just  have  got  to  watch  the  1  i ne  [as  to  what  is  ethical ,  moral  and 
legal].  If  you  [are  tempted  to]  cross  the  1  ine,  and  you  don't  know 
where  the  next  line  is,  you  better  hadn't  cross  the  first  line,  because 
you  will  find  yourself  in  a  'no  man's  land'  where  there  are  no  ethical 
bearings  for  guidance. 


Morr  i  s :    What  kind  of  observations  do  you  have  about  Roger's  [Kent] 
resignation?  There  are  various  theories;  one,  that  he'd  been  tired  of 

!  it  for  a  while,  and  the  other,  that  there  was  some  sort  of  maneuvering 
about  Pat's  re-election  campaign. 

Huff :      Oh  ,  I  think  he  got  t  i  r ed  of  it.  We  H  ,  1 e  t ' s  pu  t  it  this  wax . 
In  '66,  for  Pat  Brown's  third  term,  I  think  there  was  a  general 
burnout.  There  was  burnout  within  the  administration,  and  there  was  a 
degree  of  burnout  in  the  party,  too.  It's  hard  to  sustain  carrying  the 
load  and  the  responsibility  on  critical  issues  where  there  was  little 
or  no  chance  of  w i nn i ng--to  fight  a  lot  of  battles,  and  keep  fighting 
them,  when  you  knew  you  were  going  to  lose. 

I  told  Pat  Brown  this  once,  and  it  just  shocked  the  pants  off 
of  him.  I  told  him  he  really  wasn't  a  politician.  It  kind  of  hurt,  you 

i know.  He's  got  a  pretty  high  ego.  The  fact  is  the  he  evolved  and 
developed  as  a  consummate  bureaucrat  in  a  special  class.  Not  really  my 
kind  of  bureaucrat,  but  he  was  interested  in  the  system,  he  had  his  own 

[standards  and  ideals,  and  his  own  principles,  and  he  was  a  good 
delegator.  He  involved  staff  in  the  decision-making  process—some th i ng 
Ronald  Reagan  didn't  do.  When  I  say  that,  I  mean  he  involved  the 
knowledgeable  professionals.  He  would  actually  pull  them  in,  and  he 
would  get  the  word  direct — he  didn't  have  it  screened  though  all  kinds 
of  political  operators. 

Mor  r i s :    There  were  times  when  he  would  call  you  in? 

Huff ;      I've  gotten  involved  in  sessions  with  him.  Of  course,  I  was 
involved  in  one  with  Ronald  Reagan  I  might  tell  you  about,  too.  That 
was  hi  1 ar  i  ous . 

But  with  him  [ Brown ] --the  way  I  characterized  it:  if  it  was  a 

; purely  political  question,  and  political  issue,  you  almost  had  to  back 
him  to  the  wal  1  ,  hoi di  ng  h im  to  i  t ,  and  say .  Pat ,  th  i  s  i  s  a  pol  i  t  i  cal 
issue.  You're  going  to  have  to  make  a  political  judgment,  a  political 
decision,  and  we're  going  to  held  you  there  until  it's  over.  Because  if 
you  took  the  pressure  off,  he'd  reve-   to  form.  My  best  example  of  it 
was  pitting  Democrat  against  Democrat.  George  Miller,  Jr.,  as  chairman 
of  the  Senate  finance  committee  was  unalterably  opposed  to  any  kind  of 
enforcement  on  the  highways. 
Morr  i  s :    Speed  limits? 

Huf f ;      Well  anything.  Radar,  you  name  it.  And  here  we  were  losing 
four  thousand  people  a  year  on  the  highways,  which  doesn't  take  very 
long  to  add  up  to  the  Vietnam  fatalities.  Pat,  as  governor,  felt  very 
strongly  about  this  issue,  and  he  would  go  in  with  the  program — as  part 

of  his  program  in  a  given  year with  the  whole  safety  package,  and  he'd 

emerge  at  the  end  of  the  year  bloody.  Miller  would  just  play  with  him, 
toying  with  him  like  a  dog  with  a  rat,  or  something.  And  the  staff,  one 
year,  said,  hey,  give  us  a  break.  He  wouldn't  do  it.  He  felt  so 
strongly  about  it,  he  said,  even  if  we  lose,  there's  four  thousand 
lives  out  there  at  stake,  we  have  to  go  fight  the  battle.  To  me,  that 
was  great  stuff,  I  really  liked  that. 
Morris:    That's  the  old  attorney  general  at  work. 

Huff ;      That's  right.  And  on  judicial  appointments,  when  he  had  to 

make  a  lousy  political  appointment  to  the  bench,  he  would  turn  around 

and  balance  the  scales  by  making  some  spectacular  appointments.  In  his 

ow n  mind,  that  tended  to  — 

Morr  i  s ;    Consciously. 

Huff :      Yes. 

Morr-  i  s :    Would  you  care  to  explain  who  those  were. 


Huff  :      We  1  1  ,  it  would  be  putting  my  judgment  in  his  place,  and  some 

of  whom  I  considered  to  be  duds,  he  might  consider  good  ones.  There 

were  some  appointments  in  A  lame da  County  that  I  did  not  consider 

spectacular.  They  were  just  old  political  hacks. 

M o r r  i  s ;    Who  had  to  be. 

Huff  :      They  were  party  workers,  and  they  were  old  style.  They  were 

pre-CDC,  pr e -Steven son .  Leonard  Dieden  was  one  whom  I  considered  a  hack 

of"  the  worst  order,  but  he  was  a  good  -fund  raiser.  And  the  guy  who 

looked  1  ike  Carmen  DiSappio,  and  -functioned  about  the  same.  He  was 

another  politico  we  called  the  Silver  Fox  (like  Sen.  Collier). 

Morr  i  s ;    Purchio. 

Huff  !      Purchio.  John  J.  Purchio,  that's  right.  To  me  they  were  just 

pol  itical  hacks  o-f  the  lowest  order. 

Morr  i  s :    Well,  but  you  know,  that's  the  same  charge  that's  being  made 

in  this  current  campaign.  That  some  of  the  people  on  the  State  Supreme 

Court  were  pol  itical  appointess  o-f  the  other  Governor  Brown. 

Hu-f  i  :      Jerry  Brown. 

Morr  i  s ;    Yes. 

Hu-f -f  ;      Well,  I  think  Jerry  Brown  made  some  terrible  political 

judgments.  He  was  Justice  Tobriner's  law  clerk.  Justice  Tobriner  was  a 

•fine  justice,  and  i -f  anybody  deserved  to  be  elevated  to  chief  justice 

on  merit,  he  did.  If  anybody  deserved  to  get  it  on  political  merit,  he 

did.  But  Jerry  wanted  to  be  the  first  one  to  appoint  a  woman  chief 

justice.  If  he  had  elevated  Tobriner  to  chief  justice,  appointed  Rose 

[Bird]  to  j ust i ce--Tobr i ner  was  right  on  the  edge  of  retirement, 

anywa> — he'd  have  served  a  couple  of  years  with  distinction,  Rose  would 

have  had  a  chance  to  assimilate  in  a  non-threatening  situation,  and 

could  have  been  elevated,  no  fuss  or  muss,  or,  at  least,  a  minimum. 

It  was  just  a  lousy  political  decision,  all  because  of  his 
ow  n  ego. 

Morr  i  s ;    A  matter  of  timing,  rather  than  inherent  qualifications. 
Huff ;      Yes,  that's  right. 

Nor  r  i  s ;    Well,  once  Roger  did  resign,  were  there  others  who  provided 
the  same  kind  of  continuity,  linkage  and  tradition? 
Huff ;      Never  the  same.  There'll  never  be  another  Roger  Kent, 
probably.  You  know,  it's  something  special. 

Morr  i  s;    He's  very  special  to  those  who  worked  with  him.  How  did  the 
people  in  southern  California  feel  about  him?  Did  the  things  that  made 
h  i  m  spec  i  al  to  — 

Huff  !      It  was  different,  because  he  was  a  northerner.  But  he  still 
represented  the  continuity,  and  the  leadership,  and,  basically, 
se 1 f 1 e  ssn  e  ss ,  that  was  a  ma j  or  plus  f  or  the  p  ar  t  y . 

Mor  r  i  s :    Th  e  people  wh  o ' v  e  succeeded  hi  m — we ' v  e  don  e  a  brief  inter  v  i  e w 
with  Charles  Warren,  and  Roger  Boas-- they  both  described  being  party- 
chair  as  painful.  Both  the  contending  with  the  factions,  and,  I  guess, 
by  then  the  deficits  were  larger  than  they  had  been? 

Huff ;      We  didn't  have  any  deficits.  Well ,  not  when  I  was  there,  we 
didn't.  They  came  after  me. 

Morr  i  s ;    Did  you  not  have  deficits  while  you  were  treasurer  because 
you  were  treasurer,  and  said,  there  shall  be  no  deficits? 
Huff ;      Well,  I  can't  claim  full  credit  for  it.  Part  of  it.  But  it 
was  because  of  Roger,  and  the  whole  mileau,  and  what  everybody  was 
doing.  And  I  was  a  hard-1  iner. 
Morr  i  s ;    It  was  part  of  it. 
Huff;      Yes. 


Morr i s ;    It's  a  policy  thing,  that  we  will  overspend,  or  we  won't 
overspend . 

H  u  -f  -f  ;      That's  right.  We  managed  to  1  ive  within  our  means,  and  we 
managed  to  somehow  or  other,  have  the  means  match  at  least  minimum 
needs.  A  lot  of  the  time  it  was  kind  of  a  'by-guess  and  by-gosh'  thing, 
but  there  was  enough  going  on  out  there,  that  money  would  float  in. 
Some  congressional  district  that  hadn't  contributed  in  a  long  time 
would  have  scraped  up  some  money,  and  sent  some  in  right  when  we  were 
wondering  it  we  were  going  to  pay  the  rent.  This  type  of  thing. 

As  I  think  I  told  you  before,  we  actually  built  a  credit 
record.  We  had  a  credit  rating,  with  printers,  and — it's  like  money  in 
the  bank.  Nobody  ever  heard  of  a  political  party  doing  that.  But  you 
see  Warren,  he  was  a  legislator,  the  worst  person  you  can  put  in  as  a 
party  leader,  in  any  position,  is  a  legislator. 
Morr  i  s!    Why  is  that? 

Huff  :      Number  one,  they're  coming  from  a  different  place;  number- 
two,  they  don't  have  the  time;  three,  their  perspective  is  too 
narrow-- in  terms  of  the  district,  and  issues,  and  everything.  It's  just 
the  wrong  cal  iber  person.  It's  no  reflection  on  any  particular 
individual.  And  they  don't  have  the  stomach  to  deal  with  f ac t i on s-- they 
can't  handle  that  kind  of  problem.  That's  a  cold  bath  for  them. 

Roger  was  able  to--I  don't  know,  there's  some  way — 
Morr  i  s !    But  factions  are  inherent  in  the  legislative  process. 
Huff ;      That's  different,  that's  a  club.  That's  a  closed,  tight  club. 
And  those  people --you  might  think  they're  bitter  enemies  by  what  they 
said  on  the  floor,  in  a  committee—you'd  go  out  and  find  them  eating 
together  afterwards,  the  closest  of  buddies. 

M  o  r  r  i  s !    Yes,  but  there  are  also  some  of  the  battles  over  the 
speaker-ship,  and  things  of  that  sort.  You  know,  when  Unruh  steps  down 
as  speaker.  Willie  Brown  lost  the  first  round,  and  it  was  ten  years 
before  he  could  work  up  enough  — 

Huff ;      Well,  he  had  to  sell  his  soul  to  become  speaker,  classic 
case  . 

Morr  i  s ;    To  the  Republ  icans? 

Huff ;      Yes.  Don't  give  me  a  speaker  who  had  to  sell  his  soul  to  the 
opposition.  They're  useless.  Really,  they're  no  good. 
Morr i  s ;    But  that's  dealing  with  factions.  You  may  have  to-- 
Huff :      But  that's  inter -party  factions,  and  not  intra-party 
factions.  At  least  intra-party,  supposedly,  you're  all  going  in  the 
same  general  direction.  You're  not  going  in  opposite  —  the  other 
factionalism,  that's  straight  wheeling  and  dealing,  buying  and  selling, 
as  far  as  I'm  concerned.  You're  promised  a  committee  chairmanship  for 
your  vote . 

Pol  i  t  i  cal  Ph i  1 osophy  and  Personal  i t  i  es 

Morr i  s :    The  same  year  you  had  Roger  resign,  you  had  Pat  Brown  and 

everybody  else,  except  March  Fong  CEu].  Was  that  the  year?  Anyway,  you 

lost  a  lot  of  campaigns  in  '66. 

Huff ;      Well ,  let's  see.  March  Fong  wasn't  there  in  '66.  She  came 


Morr  i  s ;    No.  I  quess  she  was  still  in  the  legislature.  She  came  in 

with  Jerry  [Brown],  several  years  later. 

Huff ;      Yes.  She  came  in  with  Jerry,  Unruh,  and  Cory.  That  bunch. 


Nor  r  i  s ;         Were    there    some    conferences,    or    efforts    to    pick    up    the 

pieces,    and   make    some    long-range    plans    for     the    party. 

Huf f  :      I  was  out  of  it  at  that  point. 

Nor  r I s ;    Nobody  came  and  wept  on  your  shoulder,  and  said,  what  are  we 

go  ing  to  do? 

Huf f  :      No.  they  didn't  need  my  advice. 

Morr i  s ;    Thinking  alonq  the  business  as  a  boy  scout  model  — 

Huff !      What  do  you  call  a  "boy  scout"? 

Mor  r  i  s :    Well  ,  the  boy  scout  troop,  1  iterally.  You  know,  in 

organizations  like  that  there's  an  effort  to  develop  some  leadership 

for  next  year.  Were  there  any  efforts  along  those  1  ines?  You  know, 

Roger  must  have  had  some  thought  for  the  future.  He  didn't  want  to  be 

there  forever,  and  Don  might  have  thought  that  he  didn't  want  to  be 

there  forever . 

Huf f ;      Don  expected  to  be  there  forever. 

Morr  i  s :    D  i  d  h e ? 

Huf f ;      Well ,  that's  a  throwaway  remark.  But  yes,  as  long  as  he  was 

around,  he  expected  to  be  one  of  the  shakers  and  movers.  And  I  think, 

rightly  so.  But  he  was  a  pro,  and  Roger  was  an  amateur --in  the  sense 

that  one  was  paid,  and  the  other  wasn't  paid.  Roger  was  a  pro  in  his 

own  right,  in  his  own  sense,  by  virtue  of  knowledge,  expertise,  and 

t  i  me  spen  t . 

I  really  can't  respond  to  the  thinking  of  par ty-1 eadersh i p 
building.  There  was  kind  of  a  continual  'by-guess  and  by-gosh'  basis 
back  in  my  days.  I  want  to  say  'by-guess  and  by-gosh'  because  I  don't 
want  to  give  it  any  patina  of  being  very  scientific.  It  was 
opportunistic  in  terms  of  who  emerged,  and  I  think  one  of  Roger's 
unique  contributions  was  recognizing,  and  giving  the  opportunity  for 
people  to  emerge  as  leaders.  He  was  never  insecure.  He  never  felt  that 
he  had  to  be  'it',  and  that  he  had  to  have  it  all.  That  was  the  real 
secret  to  it.  A  Jesse  Unruh  cannot  tolerate  the  emergence  of  any  other 
leadership.  So  the  people  around  him  are  all  toadies,  they're  all  just 
yes-men.  They  have  to  do  what  he  says,  and  he  decides.  Anybody  who 
emerges  is  a  threat.  That's  a  difference  in  style  of  leadership. 

You  know,  I've  seen  it  in  the  executive  branch,  also.  My 
theory  of  management  was,  I  ought  to  be  able  to  walk  away,  and  the 
place  runs.  It  couldn't,  shouldn't,  and  wasn't  dependent  on  my  being 
there.  At  the  same  time,  I  had  to  provide  the  standards,  and  the 
ideals,  and  the  tone — is  really  what  you  do.  (I've  seen  various 
comments  vis-a-vis  Reagan  and  the  Iran/contra  affair,  but  nowhere  have 
I  seen  the  assertion  that  he  should  be  held  responsible  because  of  the 
standard  of  expectancy  that  he  set  that  made  it  possible  for  underl  ings 
to  feel  that  they  were  taking  a  course  of  action  consistent  with  the 
President's  policies  and  standards.)  As  a  bureaucrat,  you  don't  have 
access  to  a  pencil,  or  a  person,  or  an  office,  without  another 
department  ye  a- ing  or  nay- ing  your  request.  You  really  have  no  control 
over  anything.  You  are  given  a  license  to  sell  ideas  somewhere  else 
[outside  the  department],  and  have  people  buy  them  [the  ideas]  in  order 
to  accomplish  the  de par  tent's  mission.  I  never  really  realized  it,  in 
terms  of  career  objectives,  that  most  of  life  involves  selling  in  one 
form  or  another.  I  had  always  disliked  the  concept  of  selling.  In  fact, 
when  I  was  a  kid,  trying  to  sell  door  to  door,  I  always  vowed,  that  no 
matter  what  I  did,  I  didn't  want  to  be  a  salesman.  Then  I  found  out 
that,  no  matter  what  you  did  in  1  i  f  e  ,  you  had  to  be  a  salesman.  If  you 
weren't  selling  commodities,  you  were  selling  ideas,  or  whatever. 


Morr  i  s :    The  picture  that  emerges,  is,  here's  &  political  party,  whose 

reason  -for  being  is  to  elect  people  to  office.  Yet  once  elected  to 

office,  those  people  who  are  elected  to  o-f-fice  are  not  on  1  x  ungrateful  , 

but  not  very  supportive  o-f  the  party  that  elected  them. 

Huff  ;      Yes. 

Morr  i  s ;    That's  fascinating. 

Huff  :      It's  a  self-destructive  process,  basically.  The  minute  you 

win,  you  start  to  lose.  For  one  thing,  you — 

Morr  i  s ;    Candidate  or  party,  or  both? 

Huf f :      Both.  The  winner,  the  governor,  reaches  out,  and  he  starts 

putting  people  on  the  bench  that  were  all  party  workers  and  putting 

them  into  his  a  dm  i  n  i  str  t  i  on  ,  and  this  type  of  thing,  and  you're 

destroying  the  fabric  of  the  thing  that  put  you  there.  And  you  destroy 

it  faster  than  it  can  regenerate—basically,  I  think  is  what  happens. 

M  o  r  r  i  s ;    Is  that  inherent  in  the  system,  or  is  there  something  that 

cou Id  be  f  i  xed? 

Huf f !      I'm  not  sure  it  can  be  fixed.  I  think  it's  basically 

inherent.  Just  the  nature  of  the  beast.  Of  course,  you  have  the 

'  Ch  i  c  ago  so  1  u  t  i  on  '  ,  wh  ere  a  dm  i  n  i  s  t  •  •.- 1  i  v  e  appointees  continue  to  hold 

party  positions,  but  that's  certainly  not  the  right  answer  to  the 

pr  obi  em . 

Well,  Wendell  Willkie  [1944  Republican  presidential  nominee] 
characterized  it  in  a  different  way,  in  terms  of  the  presidency.  When 
you're  elected,  you  have  this  reservoir  of  good  will --and  let's  apply 
it  to  Deukmejian  —  and  if  your''e  going  to  accomplish  anything,  you  have 
to  dip  into  that  reservoir  of  good  will  and  use  it,  and  when  you  do, 
you're  depleting  the  reservoir,  because  it  doesn't  regenerate  itself. 
So  you're  sowing  the  seeds  of  your  own  destruction  by  accomplishing 
legitimate  objectives,  and  weakening  the  whole  system. 

Deukmej i an ' s  strength  today  lies  in  the  fact  that  he  has 
barely  dipped  in  —  in  three  years — into  that  reservoir  and  done 
anything.  So  he's  fairly  intact.  Other  than  making  a  big  crusade  about 
the  court,  what's  he  ever  come  out  very  strongly  for,  and  can  anybody 
really  identify  him  as  a  crusader,  or  a  pusher,  or  doer  of  anything,  in 
terms  of  the  public  welfare? 

Morr  i  s ;    Is  it  a  parallel?:  Reagan  came  in  as  governor  when  he  was 
going  to  cut  back  on  government,  and  get — 

Huf  f  ;      Passed  the  largest  tax  b  i  1  1 --carr  i  ed  by  then  State  Senator- 
George  Deukmejian,  incidentally — of  any  governor  in  the  history  of 
California.  Went  to  Washington,  has  incurred  a  greater  debt  than  all 
his  predecessors  combined. 

Morr  i  s ;    But  you  would  think  that  he  would  have  used  up  that  reservoir 
fairly  quickly,  and  yet  what  did  he  do — he  went  on  to  Washington. 
Huf f ;      I  don't  think  he  used  the  reservoir.  Not  very  often.  From  my 
1  imited  perspective,  I  only  saw  him  have  to  really  make  a  choice,  where 
he  just  couldn't  go  with  his  doctrine,  a  couple  of  times  in  eight  years 
as  governor.  One  time  was  on  withholding,  which  was  the  rock  on  which 
he  stood  when  he  came  in.  And  [Caspar]  Weinberger,  as  director  of 
finance,  didn't  have  the  guts  to  tell  him  the  facts  of  life.  It  was 
only  when  Verne  Orr  [currently  secretary  of  the  Air  Force]  came  in  as 
Weinberger's  successor,  and  in  a  matter  of  days  saw  where  the  state  was 
heading,  and  walked  in,  and  laid  it  all  out  for  the  governor.  Reagan 
left  that  meeting  white  as  a  sheet,  and  that's  when  he  said:  "The  sound 
you  hear  is  the  cement  cracking  around  my  feet."  That's  what  that  was 
al 1  about . 



Nor r I s !    You  have  a  piece  of  that  concrete? 

Huf  i  ;      I  have  a  piece  o-f  it,  yes. 

Morr i s ;    Oh,  that's  wonderful. 

Huf f ;      That  was  a  joke  really. 

Mor-r  i  s;    No,  Ken  Hall — ? 

Huff ;      He  was  a  deputy,  or  assistant  cabinet  secretary,  and  he  was 

going  over  to  Finance  at  the  time.  When  they  had  his  going  away  party 

all     the    department    directors   were     invited.    He    said,     "I    don't    want    a 

gift"  —  in  fact  I  used  that,  when  I  retired,  I  used  that  gimmick  in  a 

different  way.  But  he  reached  down  and  put  a  carton  up  by  the  rostrum, 

and  said:  "I  was  cleaning  out  my  desk."  And  he  had  something  for  every 

department  director,  wih  both  a  little  humor  in  it,  and  some 

s  i  gn  i  f  i  cance . 

Morr  i  s ;    This  he  did  as  assistant  cabinet  secretary. 

Huf f ;      Yes — as  assistant  agency  secretary.  We  had  the  agencies.  He 

was  the  number  two  guy  in  the  Agriculture  and  Services  Agency. 

Mr.  Huff  Meets  Governor  Reagan 

Huff  :      I  didn't  tell  you  about  the  meeting  of  the  Reagan 

sess  i  on . 

Morr  i  s;    That  was  my  next  question,  I  didn't  want  to  lose  that. 

Huf f ;      Okay.  There  was  an  issue.  It  was  a  technical  issue  involving 

income  averaging,  and  the  fact  that  if  the  law  wasn't  changed  promptly, 

the  constitutional  change  in  the  legislative  salaries  was  such — this 

was  when  they  went  up  significantly  to  a  new  pay-base--that  they  could 

all  have  taken  advantage  of  the  income  averaging  provisions  unless  it 

was  statutorily  negated. 

And  there  was  a  bill ,  and  it  was  a  question  of  timing--we 
were  up  against  April  15  [the  tax  filing  deadline],  and  the  bill  had  to 
be  in  and  chaptered  [filed,  logged  and  numbered  by  the  secretary  of 
state  after  being  signed  by  the  governor]  before  the  tax  deadline  for 
it  to  apply  to  the  prior  tax  year .  So  I  got  a  cal 1  from  somebody  in  the 
governor's  office,  that  said,  you  know,  in  twenty  minutes  we're  going 
to  have  a  meeting  of  the  legislative  leadership  over  this  bill,  and 
could  I  come  over  and  attend  the  meeting?  I  said,  fine.  To  me, 
legislative  leadership  meant  both  houses,  both  parties,  the  whole  bit. 

So  I  go  over  there.  In  the  old  days,  when  Pat  [Brown]  was 
there,  we  all  had  easy  access  into  the  governor's  office.  You  could 
roam  in,  and  they  didn't  have  all  this  security.  Under  Reagan 
everything  was  very  tight  security,  and  the  big  office  that  Pat  used 
was  turned  into  kind  of  a  board  room,  with  this  huge  table,  and 
high -backed  chairs  all  around  it.  And  the  small  private  of  ice  that  Pat 
used  to  use — it  had  sort  of  a  way  you  could  duck  back  there — which 
would  comfortably  hold  a  half  dozen  people,  became  Reagan's  office.  Pat 
used  to  use  it  when  he  had  a  meeting  going  in  the  large  office,  and 
somebody  was  in  and  he  had  to  conduct  a  second  mee t i ng--why ,  he'd  do 

Anyway,  I  headed  over  to  the  governor  s  office.  I  go  in,  an 
this  fellow  Smith  was  director  of  finance — a  small  short,  sawed-off 
gu> — 

Morr  i  s;    Gordon  Paul  Smith? 
Huff ;      Gordon  Paul  Smith. 

Morr  i  s ;    Oh,  great.  I've  never  heard  a  physical  description  of  him. 
Huf i  \      Small,  sawed  off  runt,  with  an  ego  a  mile  high — you're  going 


to  get  a  description  1  ike  you've  never  heard  be-fore.  Our  paths 
converged,  and  I  said,  "Are  we  going  to  the  same  meeting?"  So  we  go  in, 
we  get  cleared  through  into  the  big  room  and  then  into  the  small  back 
room . 

And  the  governor  wa.s  sitting  there.  Nobody  told  me  I  was 
go  ing  to  a  mee  ting  with  the  governor  .  Th  is  is  -far  i  y  ear  1  y  on  C  i  n  his 
administration].  Bill  Clark  [former  justice,  California  Supreme  Court; 
•former  White  House  aide;  currently  secretary  of  the  Interior!  was  the 
governor's  executive  secretary.  He  was  the  second  to  hold  that  position 
under  Reagan.  The  governor  is  sitting  there  with  his  feet  up  on  the 
desk,  and  the  Jelly  bean  Jar  was  on  the  table  behind  him.  It's  very 
important  where  the  Jelly  bean  Jar  was.  It  turned  out  "legislative 
leadership"  was  only  Republican  leadership. 
Morr i s ;    Let's  see,  Bob  Monagan? 

Huf f ;      It  was,  let's  see  McCarthy  C John ] --maybe  Monagan  was  there.  I 
know  the  guy  from  Piedmont,  who  became  protocol  officer — [Don  Mulford] 
Morr  i  s :    The  redhead  with  the  bad  temper. 

Huf f ;      Yes,  from  Piedmont.  He  was  there,  and  quite  a  bit  of 
staff --Bill  Clark.  And  something  was  going  on  upstairs  [on  the  floor  of 
the  two  houses  of  the  legislature],  and  it  was  taking  a  while  for 
everybody  to  assemble.  So  on  a  couch — let  me  describe  this.  The  room 
wa.s  1  ike  maybe  this  big  [fifteen  feet  square],  the  couch  over  here 
[against  the  east  window],  Reagan's  desk  is  here  [toward  the  center  as 
you  enter,  but  on  the  west  side  of  the  room],  table  behind  it  with  the 
Jelly  beans,  some  chairs  spotted  around. 

When  we  finally  got  everybody  in,  there  were  seventeen  people 
in  the  room,  but  this  was  before  they  all  arrived.  So  I'm  sitting  over- 
he  re  [northeasterly,  against  the  wall]  and  Dave  Doerr ,  who  was  chief 
consultant  to  the  Assembly  Revenue  and  Taxation  Committee,  and  a 
Democrat--he  and  I  ended  up  being  the  only  Democrats  in  the  room.  And 
some  staffer  came  in  by  the  side  [west]  door,  this  side  door,  over 
here,  sort  of  behind  the  governor,  and  he  reaches  into  the  jelly  bean 
Jar,  and  takes  a  Jelly  bean.  And  Gordon  Paul  Smith  is  sitting  over 
here,  on  the  couch  [against  the  east  window],  and  he  gets  up,  and  he 
gets  sort  of  in  a  position  like  this  [knees  bent,  head  cocked  up],  with 
his  big  Jaw  out,  and  he  says,  "Toss  me  one." 

So  this  guy  is  tossing  a  jelly  bean  over  the  governor's  head, 
and  Smith  is  trying  to  catch  it  with  his  mouth.  Well,  he  did  that  about 
three  times  before  he  made  the  catch.  And  I'm  sitting  there  saying  (to 
myself),  "This  is  how  this  administration  is  being  run?"  Because  it  was 
my  first  insight,  the  first  time  I'd  ever  sat  in  on  one  of  his 
[Reagan's]  meetings. 

Well,  finally  everybody  got  there.  Bill  Clark,  big  tall  guy, 
arms  folded,  standing  against  the  wall — he  opened  the  meeting. 
Morris:    There's  no  more  room  to  sit  down,  so  he's  standing  against 
the  wal  1? 

Huff:  Yes,  I  think  that  was  it--well,  he  was  standing,  anyway.  But 
there's  seventeen  people  packed  in  this  place.  He  opens  the  meeting  by 
saying,  "Okay,  Martin,  you  tell  us  what  the  problem  is."  [laughs] 

Nobody  told  me  I  was  going  to  be  thrown  the  ball,  briefing 
the  governor  and  the  whole  business!  So  I  did,  you  know,  and  explained 
why  the  issue  was  critical,  and  the  whole  business.  And  then  we  got 
into  a  terrible  kind  of  situation.  In  the  state  constitution  there  s  a 
provision  that  emergency  legislation  requires  a  two-thirds  vote  of  both 
houses  on  an  'urgency  clause'  that  states  why  the  legislation  must  go 


into  effect  immediately.  The  kicker  was  that  the  Personal  Income  Tax 
was  exempted  -from  this  rule. 

Senator  McCarthy  -from  Mar i n  ,  a  veteran  Republican  leader  in 
the  upper  house,  was  sitting  there,  and  timing  was  critical — or  rather, 
the  urgency  question,  because  it  involved  the  Democrats,  and  how  many 
votes  were  needed,  and  whether  you're  going  to  get  two  thirds,  and  all 
this  kind  of  business. 

I  don  •' t  recall  how  it  all  came  about,  but  I  started  to  make 
the  point  that  it  didn't  require  an  urgency  clause.  McCarthy  didn't 
know  the  rules,  he  didn't  know  the  constitution,  so,  in  effect,  he  was 
calling  me  a  liar.  And  I  couldn't  dispute  a  leader  of  the  Republican 
party  in  front  of  the  governor,  and  all  that.  I  didn't  feel  that  was 
the  seemly  thing  to  do.  But  Dave  Doerr  jumped  in  as  an  independent 
source,  and  he  confirmed  that  I  was  correct. 

But  this  is  where  —  to  me  —  it  was  interesting.  Always  before, 
under  Pat  Brown,  when  we  got  into  one  of  these  situations,  we  were 
right  there  through  the  decision.  We  reached  a  point  in  that  meeting 
--Doerr  and  I  were  sent  packing—and  then  they  stayed  back  and  made  the 
decision.  And  there  wasn't  anybody  in  the  room  that  knew  very  much 
about  what  they  were  doing.  That  told  me  something  about  how  that 
administration  functioned. 

Es t  ab 1  i  sh  i  n Q  I n c ome  Tax  U i  t h h o 1 d  i  no 

Huff ;      On  withholding,  I  could  write  a  whole  book.  Someday  I'll 
write  the  book  on  withholding  Cof  state  income  tax],  because  that  was 
the  most  spectacular  example  of  how  the  bureaucracy  can  function  when 
it  has  to,  and  with  the  right  leadership — which  was  me.  But  the  key  to 
that  was — in  the  first  place,  withholding  had  failed  by  one  vote  the 
previous  year.  Now  Reagan  had  thrown  in  the  sponge.  But  politically  he 
was  in  a  very  difficult  position  to  do  anything  very  overt.  From  an 
administrative  point  of  view,  I  was  in  a  real  bind.  We  had  a  computer 
that  couldn't  handle  withholding — 
Mor  r  i  s :    This  is  after  withholding  has  passed? 

Huff  ;      No,  no.  Withholding  hadn't  passed  at  all.  We  had  a  computer 
that  couldn't  handle  it,  we  had  a  physical  facility  that  couldn't 
handle  it.  Two  biggies.  And  actually,  to  make  the  conversion  on  the 
computer  we  had  to  go  from  what  was  called  "DOS"  to  "Big  OS",  which  is 
computer  jargon.  We  could  get  some  equipment  temporarily  to  get  us  over 
into  that  mode,  but  we  were  still  going  to  have  to  have  six  months  lead 
time  to  get  the  equipment  we  actually  needed.  So  that  was  two  computer 
equipment  changes,  and  a  new  facility. 

Politically,  they  [the  administration]  were  not  in  any 

position  to  budget  for  any  of  this.  We  did  it  all  with  mirrors,  but  the 
reason  I  was  able  to  do  it  with  mirrors  is,  I  got  a  private  audience 
with  His  Nibs,  Ronald  Reagan.  I  1  a i d  ou t  the  problems,  got  General 
Services  and  Finance  and  all  the  powers  that  be  to  understand  where  the 
governor  was  coming  from.  But  there  were  no  fingerprints,  and  nothing 
in  writing.  I  was  in  effect  told,  go  do  it. 

Morr  i  s !    That's  interesting  that,  once  having  made  the  decision,  he 
didn't  balk  at  what  needed  to  be  done  to  implement  it. 

Huf f ;      Well,  as  a  bureaucrat,  I  could  have  sat  on  my  duff,  and  said, 
until  there's  a  law,  we  can't  do  a  thing.  Of  course,  I  would  have  been 
the  goat  when  the  law  was  enacted,  and  I  couldn't  put  it  into  effect 


i nstan t 1 y . 

We  had  to  order  paper  eight  months  in  advance --neck  out  on 
that.  We  did  the  computer  thing.  We  went  through  two  generations  of 
compu ter s--unp 1 ug ,  plug,  tw  .e.  Very  gutsy  business.  We  got  the  rental 
of  a  suitable  facil  i  ty  out  at  Aerojet  [in  suburban  Sacramento].  They 
were  hurting  at  the  time,  nationally,  on  defense  contracts,  and  we 
negotiated  the  cheapest  lease  the  state  had  negotiated  in  20  years,  and 
hasn't  repeated  since  then.  But  it  had  to  be  a  military  secret.  For 
one,  because  of  the  political  problems,  and  the  other,  because  it  was 
the  only  standing  facility  in  Sacramento  that  could  handle  the  job.  If 
Ae  r  o j  e  t  k  n ew  t  h  a  t  we  were  in  that  kind  of  p  os i  t  i  on ,  the  y  d  h  av  e  jacked 
the  price  way  up . 

We  actually  had  a  better  proposition,  which  is  a  whole  other 
story,  which  was  to  put  it  out  at  the  old  fairgrounds.  I  don't  know  if 
you  know  about  that.  The  state  had  the  property,  it  was  an  ideal 
location  because  it  was  in  a  low  income  area,  and  we  were  the  largest 
user  of  temporary  help  in  Sacramento.  We  could  not  get  the  city  ot 
Sacramento  to  go  along  with  the  required  zoning  change,  because,  they 
said,  it  would  be  'piecemeal'  development;  it  was  a  concept  they 
weren't  used  to.  So  we  got  nailed  on  that.  This  left  us  with  the 
Aerojet  thing.  We  negotiated  that. 
Nor r i  s  i    You  negotiated  that  and-- 

Huf f ;      Literally,  in  the  middle  of  the  night.  Aerojet  and  General 
Services.  It  took  all  three  of  us,  and  I  was  over  at  General  Services 
with  the  Aerojet  representative  who  was  authorized  to  sign  off  on 
behalf  of  the  company.  We  started  in  the  afternoon.  At  five  o'clock, 
the  General  Services  attorney  working  on  the  contract  disappeared  on 
us.  We  discovered  that  he  had  gone  home!  We  made  him  come  back  because 
we'd  reached  agreement,  and  everybody  that  had  authority  to  sign  was 
there.  Then  it  was  a  case  of  getting  i t  al 1  in  writing.  And  I  said  no 
one  leaves  until  this  thing  is  signed  off,  we  are  in  agreement,  and 
everyone  can  do  it.  If  we  come  back  tommorow,  somebody  will  come  up 
with  another  wrinkle.  And  I  had  people  standing  by  at  my  shop  to  run 
the  press,  to  turn  out  a  notice  to  our  people  the  next  morn i ng--wh i ch 
we  did.  They  ran  at  eleven  o'clock  at  night,  and  we  had  a  piece  of 
paper  on  everyone's  desk  the  next  morning  tell  ing  them  that,  in  six 
weeks,  we  would  be  moving.  This  was  a  major  shock,  and  we  didn't  want 
the  employees  to  hear  about  it  first  either  by  rumor  or  through  the 
med  i  a . 

We  dismantled  a  small  hospital  out  at  Aerojet,  because  that's 
where  we  had  to  put  the  computer,  and  did  all  the  remodel  ing  and 
everything  (except  the  executive  area—and  that's  another  story),  and 
moved  in  five  or  six  weeks  from  the  day  we  signed  that  contract. 
Mor r i  s :    This  was  before  the  concrete  had  cracked  around  Reagan's 

Huff :      Oh,  no.  The  concrete  already  cracked,  but  the  [legislative] 
bill  was  still  working  its  way.  This  was  in  May.  The  bill  was  signed 
December  7th  or  8th.  Right  around  Pearl  Harbor  Day.  In  the  middle  of 
the  Christmas  rush  we  had  to  notify — this  is  the  spectacular  part  of 
the  story.  There  were  some  four  hundred  thousand  employers  in 
California.  Every  one  of  them  had  to  get  a  forty-eight  page  booklet 
with  tables,  and  instructions,  and  everything,  on  how  to  do  all  this. 
That  was  part  of  ordering  the  paper.  This  thing  has  a  lot  of  facets  to 
it.  We  worked  very  closely  with  the  state  printer  on  it  every  step  of 
the  way.  In  fact,  we  took  it  out  of  the  Department  of  Employment's 


hands,  because  they  had  a  piece  of  the  action,  and  theoretically  the 
booklet  was  coming  out  o-f  their  shop,  but  that's  a  whole  other  story. 
But  they  couldn't  fight  their  way  out  of  a  paper  bag,  and — 
Morr  i  s ;    Employment  has  its  own  print  shop  that  does  jobs? 
Huff  :      No,  I  mean,  they  had  a  piece  of  the  law,  in  terms  of  the  way- 
payroll  deductions  were  handled.  It  was  all  reported  through  them.  So, 
theoretically,  the  booklet  was  theirs,  but  it  was,  basically,  our  law, 
so  we  just  took  it  out  of  their  hands.  They  were  really  bent  out  of 
shape . 

We  got  hold  of  the  post  office,  the  regional  office,  and  we 
got  them  to  put  in  the  postal  bulletin  that  comes  out  every  month,  I 
guess,  saying,  that  sometime  down  the  road,  we  don't  know  when,  there 
will  be  this  mass  mailing,  bulk  mailing.  You  are  to  treat  it  as 
''yellow-tag-'  mail  (the  equivalent  of  first  class  mail  handling) 
whenever  you  get  it.  We  had  no  idea  that  it  was  going  to  hit  in  the 
middle  of  the  Christmas  card  rush,  but  we  had  laid  that  foundation. 

The  feds — you  can't  mandate  withholding  to  the  feds,  you  have 
to  negotiate  a  contract  with  them  to  withhold  state  taxes  from  the 
federal  employees  in  California.  I  had  to  fly  an  attorney  back  to 
Washington,  and  negotiate  this  contract,  so  we'd  be  ready  -for  that.  If 
we  had  had  any  idea  this  thing  was  going  to  run  down  this  close--.  The 
state  was  on  the  verge  of  going  belly-up  cash-f 1 ow-w i se .  What  had 
happened  in  '58:  when  Pat  Brown  came  in,  they  had  started  a  lot  of  tax 
reform  proposals,  and  a  lot  of  them  dealt  with  accelerating  cash  flow. 
But  the  personal  income  tax  revenues,  you  got  on  April  15th  and 
thereabouts  plus  two  prior  installments  from  high  income  people  who 
normally  had  to  estimate  for  the  feds.  Politically  the  Brown 
administration  had  made  a  judgment  not  to  push  for  withholding  in  ''59. 
It  was  a  wrong  political  judgment;  if  they  had  gotten  it  in,  it 
wouldn't  have  been  a  problem.  But  it  became  a  major  pol  i t i cal  issue 
from  ''5?,  all  the  way  through  enactment  in  '70. 

Cash-flow-wise,  that  was  one  of  the  main  problems.  The  budget 
was  in  balance,  but  the  timing  of  the  receiving  of  the  money  was  not 
good,  and  they'd  done  everything  else  possible.  Withholding  was  the 
last  thing,  and  it  was  a  major  piece  of  cash.  The  controller  was 
getting  ready  to  register  war-ran  ts--he  was  actually  getting  the 
mechanism  ready  to  go,  it  was  that  close.  [Registering  warrants  is  a 
borrowing  procedure  whereby  the  banks  are  asked  to  honor  the  warrants, 
i  .e.  checks,  issued  by  the  state  when  it  is  short  of  cash.  The  warrants 
are  backed  up  by  the  state's  promise  to  redeem  them  at  a  later  date  and 
with  interest.  This  is  a  device  used  only  in  dire  circumstances,  and 
carries  with  it  a  lot  of  negative  political  mileage  for  the 
administration  forced  to  do  so.  In  addition,  the  state's  credit  rating 
would  certainly  be  lowered,  thereby  raising  the  cost  of  borrowing. 
California  had  not  registered  warrants  since  the  depths  of  The  Great 
Depression  in  the  thirties.] 

We  identified  34  entities  that  accounted  for  a  third  of  the 
covered  employees  in  the  state,  including  the  Bank  of  America  computer 
service  center  that  handled  the  payroll  for  about  ten  thousand 
different  employers  around  the  state.  We  identified  the  person  in  each 
one  of  those  entities  that  was  personally  responsible  for  implementing 
withholding  if  it  was  enacted.  And  we  assigned  one  person  in  our 
department  to  each  one  of  those  persons — on  a  one  to  one  basis — and  we 
kept  those  people  informed  as  the  bill  went  through.  We  sent  them 
everything  we  could,  and  whenever  something  happened,  we'd  get  on  the 


horn  and  tell  them,  hex,  this  is  what's  going. 

At  the  last  minute,  in  the  last  week,  on  Monday,  they  added  a 
tax  bracket — changed  all  the  tables.  It  would  have  taken  us  three 
normal  working  days  to  implement  that  change.  We  learned  about  it  at 
•four  o'clock  and  we  stayed  up  all  night  re-jigger  ing  the  tables  so  that 
they  would  be  ready  to  go  to  print  the  next  day.  The  next  day,  the 
committee  dropped  back  to  the  original  brackets.  We'd  stayed  up  all 
night  tor  nothing.  The  other  side  of"  the  coin  was  that  i  4  we  hadn't 
stayed  up  and  the  additional  bracket  had  been  left  in,  we'd  been  in  the 
soup  getting  the  booklets  printed. 

Nor r  i  s ;    Oh,  dear.  I  hope  you  hadn't  thrown  out  the  earl  ier 
workshee  t s . 

Hutf ;      No,  it  was  all  in  'camera-ready'  form,  so  there  was  no 
problem.  The  basic  problem  was  that  we  were  running  out  of  time.  It  was 
already  December  and  if  enacted,  all  employers  in  the  state  would  be 
mandated  to  implement  withholding  on  their  employees  as  of  January  1, 
and  it  was  our  job  to  get  the  information  to  them  as  quickly  as 
possible  so  that:  1.  they  could  implement  in  as  timely  fashion  as 
possible;  2.  the  state  would  start  benefiting  from  the  much  needed 
cash-flow;  and,  3.  so  that  the  FTB  and  I  wouldn't  be  the  'goat'.  On 
Wednesday  night  we  reached  the  point  of  no  return.  We  had  everything 
ready,  but  the  bill  still  had  not  passed.  We  had  it  all  ready,  and  it 
was  actually  sitting  on  the  presses — the  presses  were  ready  to  roll. 
And  if  we  waited  any  longer,  in  terms  of  these  booklets,  we  couldn't 
get  them  out  in  time.  Time  had  run  out. 

I  went  to  the  nearest  pay  phone,  put  a  dime  in  the  machine, 
took  a  deep  breath,  and  dialed  the  printing  plant,  and  said,  "Turn  on 
the  presses  and  let  them  roll."  <The  deep  breath  was  because  if 
anything  went  wrong,  if  the  bill  didn't  pass,  I  could  be  held 
personally  liable!)  The  next  morning  the  assembly  passed  the  bill,  and 
they  sent  it  over  to  the  senate  just  before  lunch.  The  senate  had  just 
recessed.  The  president  pro  tern  had  just  announced  that  the  legislators 
could  QO  to  lunch.  (They  had  been  waiting  around  all  morning  for  the 
bill  to  come  over  from  the  assembly.)  As  soon  as  he  got  the  word  the 
bill  was  on  its  way,  the  pro  tern  sent  the  sergean t-at-arms  out  to  pull 
everyone  back.  I  called  my  shop — I  have  to  stop  here. 

We  had  these  booklets  coming  off  the  press.  The  first  bundles 
we  had  hand  delivered  by  car  to  all  of  our  district  offices  in  the 
state—about  13  district  offices.  But  everybody  who  delivered  was  also 
a  trainer.  So  we  sent  these  trainers  out  to  the  district  offices,  and 
then  as  they  worked  their  way  back  to  Sacramento  they  stopped  and 
trained  the  district  staffs  in  the  new  procedures.  The  booklets  and  the 
whole  operation  was  under  embargo  until  the  bill  was  actually  passed  by 
the  legislature.  We  also  shipped  an  embargoed  bundle  of  the  bookets 
back  to  Washington  so  they  could  get  a  head  start  on  implementation. 

Ok  ay ^  we're  back  to  the"  sen ate.  I  called,  and  I  said,  don't 
anybody  go  to  lunch.  The  34  'entity  messengers'  were  on 
alert — stand-by.  I  sat  up  in  the  gallery,  and  they  had  gotten  all  the 
senators  back,  and  they  called  the  roll.  And  when  the  clerk  started 
ripping  the  tally  sheet  off,  and  turned  around — he  had  to  face  up  to 
the  pro  tern,  who  was  on  a  higher  level — and  he  announced  the  vote  in  a 
sot  to  voice  to  the  pro  tern,  so  that  the  pro  tern  could  then  announce  it 
to  the  body,  I  took  off  1  ike  a  shot  because  that  was  i  t !   I  scooted  up 
out  of  the  gallery  to  Alan  Post's  office  [legislative  analyst]  which 
was  just  down  the  hall.  Previously,  I'd  gone  down  and  told  his 


secretary  that  at  some  point  I  may  want  to  come  in  and  use  the  phone, 
and  not  ask  permission  or  anything.  And  I  did,  I  just  went  chunking  in 
there,  and  I  made  my  phone-call,  and  I  said,  "Go!". 

This  was  just  be -fore  lunch.  By  one  o'clock  everyone  of  those 
thirty-four  people  responsible  -for  implementing  withholding  -for  their 
employers  had  a  copy  of  the  booklet  in  their  hands.  The  private 
sec  tor --by  one  o'  clock.  By  that  afternoon  the  booklets  were  going  into 
the  mail,  by  the  next  morning,  Thursday  morning,  all  o-f  them  were  in 
the  mail  -  over  four  hundred  thousand  48  page  booklets.  The  bill  hadn't 
even  been  signed.  It  was  a  complex  bill  — 

Nor  r  i  s :    Who  in  the  governor's  office  were  you  coordinating-- 
Huf f ;      That's  a  whole  story  too.  I'm  working  with  the  governor's 
staff;  the  bill  had  to  go  through  engrossing,  enrolling  [a  proofing 
process]  and  all  that  kind  of  business.  The  governor  wasn't  even  in  the 
state!  He  was  in  New  York  receiving  a  sports  award. 

The  'feder ales''  would  not  officially  do  anything  until  they 
had  a  copy  of  the  chaptered  bill.  They  would  settle  for  a  facsimile 
sent  over  the  telephone  lines.  This  was  in  the  early  days  of  the 
machines  that  you  could  transmit  [telecopiers] — there  weren't  very  many 
of  them  around,  but  they  had  one  in  the  governor's  Washington  office. 
It  was  a  small  machine  [about  9"xl4"x4"].  We,  also,  had  the  three  hour 
time  difference  to  deal  with. 
Nor  r  i  s ;    The  person  in  Washington. 

Huff ;      In  Washington.  In  Sacramento,  we  then  arranged  with  the 
governor's  office  for  us  to  have  access  to  their  machine,  so  we  could 
transmit  from  our  end. 

Morr  i  s ;    In  the  middle  of  the  night? 

Huf f ;      After  hours.  Okay.  We  arranged  to  meet  the  governor  in  Los 
Angeles  at  the  airport  to  sign  the  bill.  He  walked  off  the  breezeway, 
and  we  had  tables  set  up,  press,  and  everything,  and  he  signed  the 

Morr i  s ;    Are  you  there? 

Huf f  ;      I'm  there.  I  made  an  inadvertent  mistake  —  I  didn't  realize 
what  I  was  doing.  There's  an  LA  Times   newspaper  photo  with  me  right 
behind  the  governor.  The  authors  of  tL~  bill,  Gonzales,  and  everybody 
surrounded--.  When  they  printed  the  picture  the  legislators  got  cropped 
out,  and  I  was  still  there,  [laughs]  That  was  bad.  I  didn't  realize 
what  was  going  on. 

But  it's  not  law  when  the  governor  signs  it.  Not  very  many 
people  understand  that  the  governor's  signing  does  not  enact  a  bill 
into  law.  It  has  to  be  'chaptered'.  Chaptering  is  done  by  the  secretary 
of  state.  The  secretary  of  state  is  geared--when  alerted  properly — to 
chapter  a  bill  any  day  of  the  week,  twenty-four  hours  a  day.  They  have 
somebody  assigned  to  open  up  the  office,  enter  the  bill ,  and  assign  it 

the  next  sequential  number,  called  a  chapter and  that's  what  makes  it 

law,  that  act.  <The  chapter  number  and  the  legislative  session  in  which 
it  was  passed  represent  the  permanent  source  reference  to  that  law, 
even  after  it  is  incorporated  into  one  of  the  codes.) 

All  right,  a  little  aside.  The  treasurer  was  this  gal  [Ivy 
Baker  Priest,  then  treasurer  of  Califonia  and  formerly  treasurer  of  the 
U.S.  under  Eisenhower],  who  was  making  a  big  fuss — here  we'd  done  all 
this,  you  know,  we'd  moved  the  whole  establ  ishment,  gone  through  two 
computer  upgrades,  printed  all  this  stuff,  all  without  any  written 
authorization,  and  she  was  making  a  big  fuss  about  spending  nine 
hundred  dollars  for  ads  in  the  New  York  papers  for  some  bonds  in 


connection  with  the  whole  business  (for  cash  management t > .  And  she 
wouldn't  do  it,  because  it  wasn't  law  xe t . 

To  this  day — I  think  she  may  have  died — she  still-- 
Morr  i  s;    This  is  the  California  treasurer,  or  the  US — 
Huf f :      Yes,  treasurer  of  California.  To  this  day,  she  doesn't 
understand  that  she  was  snookered,  because  she  actually  authorized  the 
ads  after  the  governor  signed  it,  but  before  it  was  chaptered.   It 
still  wasn't  law.  [laughs]  So  that's  just  a  vignette. 
Morr  i  s ;    That's  a  marvelous  tale. 

Huff  :      We  got  it  chaptered  at  six  o'clock,  at  night --we  had  to  fly 
back  here  and  get  it  chaptered.  Then  we  transmitted  a  copy  of  the 
chaptered  bill,  in  the  middle  of  the  night,  to  the  governor's  staffer 
in  Washington  at  his  home.  CThe  staffer  had  carried  the  machine  home  so 
that  he  wouldn't  have  to  hang  around  the  office  for  an  indeterminate 
time.)  At  nine  o'clock  the  next  day,  the  staffer  walked  it  over  to  US 
Treasury,  and  delivered  it.  But  those  people  really  had  already- 
started,  because  we'd  been  back,  negotiated  the  agreement,  and  sh i ped 
them  the  booklets  in  advance.  They  were  really  roll  ing,  but  they 
couldn't  officially  do  it  until  they  received  the  copy  of  the  chaptered 

Actually  those  booklets  were  in  everybody's  hands  before  it 
was  law.  We  got  some  complaints  on  how  they  got  the  booklet  so  fast. 
But  other  than  that,  everybody  just  took  it  all  for  granted.  It  just 


The  Legacies  of  Roger  Kent  and  Don  Bradley 

Morris:    Why  don't  we  end  up  with  a  1  ittle  piece  about  what  the 
1 egac  i  es  have  been  of  Don  Bradley  and  Roger  Kent.  What  of  their  ideas 
are  still  useful,  and  might  be  helpful  to  people  now  thinking  of 
becoming  active  in  politics,  either  as  pro  or  volunteer? 

Huff ;      Don's  greatest  contribution,  actually,  was  finding  people  and 
developing  them,  in  terms  of  the  p i ck-and-shove 1  staff  type  people.  The 
list  is  legion  of  people  that  he  brought  on  and  trained.  That  process 
isn't   happening,  as  far  as  I  know. 

Morr  i  s ;    Is  there  still  an  executive  director  of  the  central 
c  omm  i  1 1  e  e  ? 

Huff :      I  couldn't  even  tell  you. 

Nor  r  i  s ;    There  was  one  letter  I  came  across,  by  a  man  named  Jack 
Tomlinson.  Is  he  one  of  Don's  proteges? 

Huff:      He's  one  of  them,  sure.  He  was,  also,  very  close  to  Don  on  a 
personal  basis.  Jack  is  an  attorney,  and  handled  legal  matters  for  both 
Don  and  Roger . 

Another  one  of  them  is  the  chairman  of  the  Political  Science 
Department  at  UC  Davis. 
Morr  i  s- :    Cos  t  an  t  i  n  i  ? 
Huff  ;      Ed   Costantini. 
Morr  i  s ;    He  was  a  staff -per son? 
Huff  ;      He  was  one  of  the  bright  young  boys. 

Dick  Day,  became  a  judge  [Sonoma  County  Municipal  Judge],  and 

now  he's  back  to  practising  law.  Jerry  Brown  appointed  him  and  then  he 
1  ost  the  e  1  ec  t  i  on , 

Bernard  Teitelbaum  is  now  a  high -pa  id  lobbyist.  A  oun  -for 
hire.  I'm  sure  he  operates  by  his  own  set  of  standards,  but  as  an 
outside  observer,  I  -Find  it  hard  to  see  what  principles  he  goes  by. 
From  a  remark  he  made,  I  gather  his  wi-fe  [Rita  Gordon]  acts  as  a  break 
on  the  acceptance  of  some  clients.  Un -fortunately,  I  tend  to  divide  the 
lobbysists  into  the  '  black  hats'  and  the  -'white  hats''.  This  is  not 
completely  -fair.  A  lot  o-f  them  wear  ''grey  hats''!  Specifically,  in 
•fairness  to  Bernard,  he  does  have  a  so-ft  heart.  He  was  the  top 
contributor  in  helping  Don's  grandson  [John  B.  G.  Bradley,  age  10,  a 
member  o-f  the  San  Francisco  Boys  Chorus]  attend  the  Great  Woods  music 
camp  this  summer  in  Massachusetts  with  the  Pittsburgh  Symphony.  I  can 
safely  say,  that  young  John  wouldn't  have  made  it  to  camp  without 
Bernard' s  help. 

Jim  Keene  was  the  publ  ic  relations  flack  and  media  man.  He 
was  a  key  staffer  for  Don  during  campaign  times. 

Chuck  Bos  ley  was  a  staffer  that  wound  up  in  Washington  and 
has  served  as  an  aide  to  a  number  of  Congressmen. 

Louise  Ringwalt  was  Roger's  secretary  for  years.  Her  version 
of  Roger's  signature  was  accepted  as  authentic.  When  Roger  actually 
signed  a  letter  himself,  everyone  thought  it  was  forged!  Louise  ended 
up  in  Washington  for  a  number  of  years,  retiring  to  San  Clemente  from 
Alan  Cranston's  staff. 

Of  course,  Van  Dempsey  was  unique.  He  represented  the 
continuity.  The  others  came  as  young  guys,  right  out  of  graduate 
school.  Whatever  attracted  them  was  more  transitory,  and  then  they 
would  move  on  to  something  else. 

Mor-r  i  s :    Did  they  walk  in  the  door,  and  say,  hey,  I'd  like  to  work  on 
this  year ' s  gu  be  r  n a  t or i  a  1  c  amp  a i  gn  ? 

Huff :      They'd  come  anyway  you  could  think  about.  Somethimes  they'd 
just  be  working  somewhere  on  a  campaign,  and  somebody  would  find  them, 
you  know.  That  was  part  of  it,  was  being  able  to  recognize,  and  pick 
somebody  up,  and  put  them  to  work.  But  Van  was  part  of  the  on -go  ing 
con  t  i  nu  i  ty . 

Morr  i  s ;    Older  than  Don? 

Huff ;      No,  he  wasn't  older,  he  was  younger  than  Don.  He  was  my 
v  i  n  tage . 

Morr  i  s ;    You  mentioned  last  time  that  Man  came  out  of  the  labor 
un  i  ons . 

Huff:      Yes,  UAW  [United  Auto  Workers]. 

Nor  r  i  s ;    Were  other  people  who  came  in,  were  working  contacts  — 
Huf f ;      We  1 1  ,  from  time  to  time,  but  Van  was  unique.  And  part  of  his 
uniqueness,  of  course,  was  that  he  had  his  own  independent  income, 
which  few  knew,  but  he  wasn't  dependent  during  the  hard,  hungry  times. 
He  didn't  have  to  scurry  off  someplace,  and  earn  some  bread. 

That  was  Don's  —  to  me  —  that,  plus  his  pol  itical  sagacity,  and 
ability  to  put  campaigns  together,  and  the  whole  thing. 
Morr i  s :    Did  he  and  Roger  usually  think  alike  on  an  issue,  or  did 

Huf f :      They  were  like  that  [fingers  held  together].  They  could 
disagree,  and  they  could  argue,  but  they  didn't  clash.  I  can't  even 
think  of  a  specific  major  disagreement.  I'm  sure  there  were,  but  that 
just  wasn't  one  of  my  problems.  Its  just  a  strange  kind  of  team 
situation,  with  invisible  bonds,  and  things  just  kind  of  went  together. 


Hard  to  explain  it.  It  was  kind  of  a  unique  phenomenon. 

Morr-  i  s ;    We  1  1  ,  it  sounds  1  ike  it  was  very  productive,  and  very 

sat  i  sf  y  ing,  wh  i  1  e  it  was  go  i  ng  on  . 

Huff  :      Yes.  Roger 1  tfiink  we've  pretty  well  covered  what  his 

contribution  was — but  he  was  a  unique  leader.  Everybody  loved  him,  I 
think,  literally  loved  the  man.  He  had  a  lot  o-f  strange  personal 
characteristics,  which  partly  made  him  lovable  too,  I  guess.  We  called 
him  the  Glorious  Leader,  G.L.  Have  you  heard  that  one? 
Morr  i  s :    No  I  haven't.  That's  1 o v e 1 y . 

Huff :      G.L.  And  he  named  me  G.T.,  I  was  the  Glorious  Treasurer.  We 
were  the  only  two  Gs ,  G.L.  and  G.T.  But  he  was  Glorious  Leader  to 
everybody--!  was  just  G.T.  to  him.  That  wasn't  a  general  thing,  that 
was  just  private  between  the  two  o-f  us.  Al  tho  I  have  never  smoked 
(except  the  second-hand  stuff  from  'smoke-filled  rooms'!!)  somewhere  I 
have  a  cigarette  lighter  given  to  me  by  Roger  inscribed  with  the 
initials  G.T. 

I  was  one  of  those  who  spoke  at  Roger's  memorial  service. 
Those  remarks  sum  up  how  I  feel  about  Roger  and  his  contribution  to  the 
democratic  process,  [copy  of  remarks  attached]. 

C1 os i no  Though  ts 

Huff:      Another  little  incident:  I  sort  of  got  a  reputation  of  being 
a  resource  person,  I  guess,  is  the  best  way  to  describe  it.  Somehow  or 
other,  whenever  they  needed  something,  I  was  able  to  come  up  with  the 
appropriate  document — in  the  trunk  of  the  car,  or  something.  I  don't 
know  how  it  all  happened,  but  I  would  have  the  bill ,  or  a  copy  of  the 
Constitution,  or  the  code,  or  whatever  was  needed.  Have  you  heard  of 
Bill  Or  rick  ? 
M  o  r  r  i  s. :    Y  e  s  . 

Huf f ;      Okay.  William  H.  Orr i ck — W.H.O.  Another  side  story  there,  was 
.  wi  th--are  you  fami  1  i ar  wi  th  Mar bury  v  Madison?   Back  in-- 
Morr  i  s ;    I  recognize  it  as  one  of  the  landmark  decisions.  I  can't  tell 
you  what  i  t  says . 

Huf i  ;      Okay.  That  had  to  do,  basically,  with  the  outgoing  President 
[John  Adams]  and  the  Secretary  of  State  [James  Madison],  and 
nominations,  and  whether  the  nomination  of  an  outgoing  president--! 
can't  give  it  to  you  in  great  precision  —  it  got  into  a  dispute  as  to 

whether  this  gu> .  Madison  was  Secretary  of  State,  and  Mar  bury  was  the 

nominee,  and  Madison  refused  to  deliver  the  commission,  but  Adams  was 
already,  technically,  no  longer  president.  Something  like  that. 

William  H.  Or  rick's  nomination  [to  federal  district  court] 
was,  I  believe,  Nixon's  last  official  act.  Or  rick  was  a  Democrat.  How 
would  Richard  Nixon  be  appointing  a  Democrat  as  a  judge?  There  was  an 
unwritten  rule  in  California,  because  we  had  two  Democratic 
senators—Cranston  and  Tunney.  This  meant  that  you  had  to  have  an 
arrangement,  or  things  wouldn't  run  too  smoothly.  So  the  ar ran omen t , 
with  the  Nixon  White  House,  was  that  every  third  judge  in  California 
was  suggested  for  nomination  by  Alan  Cranston. 
Morr  i  s;    Not  Cranston  together  with  Tunney? 

Huff :      Well,  theoretically  with  Tunney,  but  Cranston  was  the  senior 
senator.  At  that  point  in  time,  Or rick  was  it.  And  Or rick's  name  had 
been  processed,  he  had  been  nominated  by  Nixon,  and  he  took  the  oath  in 
the  middle  of  the  night,  because  the  nomination  was  made  the  day  of 


Nixon's  resignation. 

So  they  swore  him  in  in  the  middle  of  the  night  to  avoid  the 
Mar  bury  v  Madison  situation.  And  then  —  -few  really  knew  about  the  actual 
swear i ng~ i n--bu t  a  week  later  they  had  a  public,  pro  -forma  swearing-in 
ceremony . 

Morr i  s ;    How  did  we  get  over  onto  that? 

Hu_ff  :      Oh,  because  o-f  this—this  goes  back  to  the  ''60  campaign. 
Or  rick  was  one  o-f  the  big  advisers,  and  he  always  used  to  call  me --he 
has  a  very  -funny  voice,  and  very  loud,  and  a  sound  sense  of  humor — and 
he  always  used  to  call  me  a  "student  o-f  the  Election  Code",  something 
1  ike  that.  Right  in  the  middle  o-f  the  campaign,  and  I'm  sure  Stevenson 
had  no  notion  of  any  of  this,  one  of  his  people  showed  up  with  an 
attache  case  full  of  cash,  from  labor.  And  he  was  bringing  it  out  here 
to  be  -'laundered',  and  he  wanted  to  carry  it  back  Cas  being  from 
Cal  i  f or n  i  a  3 .  [ 1 aughs] 

Morr i  s ;    How  does  Orr i ck  fit  in  to  it? 

Huff :      Orrick  had  a  lot  to  say  about  this  particular  incident,  as 
did  I,  since  I  was  the  treasurer.  He  was  one  of  those  in  on  the 
decision  as  to  how  to  respond.  It  was  an  agonizing  thing,  to  see  all 
that  cash.  Because  the  offer  was,  we  were  to  get  a  piece  of  the  action, 
i  n  — 

Morr  i  s !    For  your  doing  the  laundry? 
Hut f ;      Yes,  just  a  "handling  charge",  and  this  kind  of  business. 

We  11,  this  rather  h  i  gh  level  messenger  ,  who  shal 1  rema  i  n 
nameless,  is  carrying  all  this  cash  in  his  attache  case.  Stevenson  is 
in  town,  and  there  was  a  big  rally  down  at  Washingon  Square  on  Columbus 
Avenue  —  you  •  now,  where  the  big  Cathol  ic  Church  is  located. 
Morr  i  s :    Right. 

Huff       The  plaza  was  just  jammed  with  thousands  and  thousands  of 
people.  We'd  already  refused  the  request  and  sent  the  messenger- 
packing.  We  thought  he  went  to  the  airport,  and  back  to  Chicago.  We 
left  212  Sutter,  and  went  down  to  see  Stevenson,  and  here's  this  guy 
wandering  around  with  the  attache  case  full  of  cold  cash,  in  this 
crowd,  you  know. 

Morr i  s ;    I  remember  going  to  that  rally.  It  was  a  very  sizable--. 
Huf f  ;      That's  the  closest  I  ever  came  to  seeing  anything  of  an 
unsavory  nature  in  my  pol itical  career. 

Morr  i  s ;    Really.  With  all  the  reports  one  hears  how  unethical... 
Huff ;      Yes. 

Morr  i  s ;    They  kept  them  away  from  you,  or  you  think  they're  not  as 
common  as  advertised? 

Huff :      A  1  ittle  of  both.  I  had  to  deal  with  a  few  bums,  but  that  was 
just  the  usual,  a  big  political  pressure  operation.  The  small  minority 
papers  that  insisted  on  our  placing  large  ads  in  their  'rags'.  But  it 
was  nothing  illegal,  or  anything  like  that. 

Nor r  i  s :    Fascinating.  Well,  thank  you  very  much.  I've  absorbed  as  much 
as  I  can  today.  I  think  we  — 

Huff ;      I'm  glad  I  got  to  tell  my  withholding  story.  I  don't  tell  it 
very  coherently  because  it's  got  so  many  facets  to  it,  and  I  didn't 
tell  the  whole  story.  But  it  was  a  very  exciting  thing. 

Morr  i  s :    I  can  believe  it.  It's  a  really  major  operation,  to  create  it 
and  carry  it  ou  t . 

Huf f ;      It  was  a  'military  operation',  it  really  was.  I  didn't  get  to 
talk  about  the  time  we  did  Nixon's  taxes.  That  was  another  one.  I  only 
held  two  press  conferences  in  sixteen  years:  one  on  Nixon's  taxes,  and 


one  when  I  announced  my  prospective  resignation  after  Governor  Jerry 
Brown  allowed  AB  939  to  become  law  without  his  signature  [-fall  19 79], 
[laughs]  But  on  Nixon's  taxes  we  literally  met  —  there  were  only  -four  of 
us  [FTBers]  who  knew  what  was  going  on,  because  there  were  all  kinds  of 
leaks  back  in  Washington  with  the  IRS,  and  I  was  determined  we  weren't 
going  to  have  any  leaks  in  our  case.  We  met  at  airports — Sacramento,  LA 
and  Oakland — with  Nixon's  tax  attorney  negotiating  for  him.  And  we  had 
to  get  a  waiver,  signed  by  Richard  and  Pat  Nixon,  to  make  all  of  this 
public  when  the  assessment  notices  were  finally  issued,  because  of  the 
law  on  confidentiality  and  the  desire  of  both  parties  to  have 
everything  on  top  of  the  table.  I  still  remember  sitting  in  the  LA 
airport  looking  at  the  signed  waiver,  and  they  hadn't  included  all  the 
years  that  they  wanted  covered  for  public  release. 

This  attorney  was  not  a  political  type  at  all.  He  was  a  tax 
attorney,  and  it  was  very  difficult  for  him  to  'climb  the  mountain' 
into  the  White  House  to  get  the  right  people  to  get  anything  done.  When 
we  said,  "Hey,  the  waiver  doesn't  cover  it  all,"  he  was  just  shattered, 
because  he  knew  what  he  had  to  do.  So  he  went  back,  and  he  had  to  get 
those  two  signatures,  again,  to  do  it  right.  And  he  did,  but  when  we 
met  again,  he  said,  "I've  got  a  story  to  tell  you."  He  said,  "You  won't 
believe  it,  but  when  I  tried  to  call  my  contact  at  the  White  House,  I 
didn't  get  through  to  him.  Then  he  called  back,  and  I  wasn't  there,  and 
the  two  secretaries  were  talking  to  each  other.  My  secretary  was 
explaining  to  that  counsel's  secretary,  in  the  White  House,  what  the 
problem  was.  And  the  secretary  back  there  said,  when  it  got  down  to  the 
date,  'Do  we  date  this  back  to  the  other  date?'."  C laughs]  [One  of  the 
Watergate  'incidents'  involved  the  backdating  of  a  document  with 
Nixon's  signature  that  was  duly  notarized  by  a  California  notary 
public.  The  then  Secretary  of  State  Jerry  Brown  used  that  event  to 
'shoehorn'  himself  into  the  Watergate  affair  in  order  to  develop  some 
publicity  f  or  himself.] 

Other  vignettes  missed  include: 

-My  sitting  in  for  Roger  Kent  on  Cap  Weinberger's  publ  ic  tv 
panel  and  debating  the  1960  Democratic  reappor t i onmen t  act  with  a 
Republ  ican  assemblyman  and  the  Re publ  ican  national  comm i t teeman  from 
Cal  i  f  or  n  i  a  ; 

-My  appearance  before  the  House  [U.S.  House  of 

Representatives]  judiciary  sub-committee  on  the  Willis  multi state 
tax  at  i  on  bill; 

-The  Hale  Champion  [Governor  Pat  Brown's  Director  of  Finance] 
kidnapping  and  my  relation  to  it; 

-An  early  meeting  on  the  concept  of  revenue  sharing  where  I 
sa.t  in  Governor  Pat  Brown's  place  in  a  Chicago  session  with  Michigan 
Governor  Romney  and  Missouri  Governor  Hearns; 

-My  George  Wallace  [Governor  of  Alabama]  incident  at  the  1966 
Conference  of  Governors; 

-My  participation  on  the  floor  of  the  State  Assembly  in  the 
first  committee  of  the  whole  meeting  since  adoption  of  the  State  Water 
Plan  (subject:  income  tax  withholding:  time:  early  in  the  first  Reagan 
term) ; 

-My  luncheon  i  n  Wash  i  n  g  t  on ,  DC  w  i  t  h  Mu  r  r  ay  Ch  o  t  i  n  e  r  ,  Nix  on ' s 
I e  v  i  1  genius'. 

-The  U.S. -U.K.  treaty  battle  in  the  U.  S.  Senate  where  the 
FTB  ultimately  defeated  the  efforts  of  the  British  House  of  Commons, 
three  presidents  (Nixon,  Ford  and  Carter),  the  U.  S.  State  Department, 


the  U.  S.  Treasury  Department,  both  Cal  i  forn  i  a  I J .  S.  Senators,  and 
Governor  Jerry  Brown; 

-The  interview  in  my  office  with  a  British  Member  of 
Parliament  and  the  chairman  o-f  the  UK  Board  of  Inland  Revenue; 

-The  ''ghost  voting'  scandal  with  respect  to  AB  939  (1979 
General  Session)  and  Governor  Jerry  Brown  allowing  the  bill  to  become 
law  without  his  signature,  resulting  in  my  calling  a  press  conference 
to  resign  as  executive  officer; 

-My  interesting  consulting  assignments:  with  the  government 
of  Mexico;  in  opposition  to  the  State  of  Montana;  for  the  New  York 
State  Legislature;  and,  as  an  expert  witness  in  court  on  behalf  of  the 
State  of  Texas;  and, 

-My  four  year  role  in  supporting  Chief  Justice  Rose  El  izabeth 
Bird,  including  two  and  a  half  years  as  treasurer  of  her  campaign 
c  omm  i  1 1  e  e  . 

I  wouldn't  trade  my  political  and  governmental  experiences 
for  anything,  but  in  the  years  I  have  remaining,  my  hope  is  to  be 
involved  in  new  and  different  types  of  activities.  If  my  first  seven 
years  in  'retirement'  are  any  indication,  that  hope  will  be  fulfilled. 



TAPE  GUIDE  —  Martin  Huff 

Date  of  Interview:   April  2,  1986 
tape  1,  side  A 
tape  1,  side  B 
tape  2,  side  A 
tape  2,  side  B 

Date  of  Interview:   April  23,  1986 

tape  3,  side  A 

tape  3,  side  B 

tape  4,  side  A 

tape  4,  side  B 

tape  5,  side  A 

tape  6,  side  B 








Tax  collector  Huff — 
politicians' enemy  No.l 


If  you  took  a  poll  of  legislators  these  days,  the  executive 
officer  of  the  state  Franchise  Tax  Board,  Martin  Huff, 
would  win  the  title  of  "politicians'  enemy  number  one"  hands 
down.  No  one  has  ever  questioned  Huff's  honesty,  integ 
rity,  efficiency  or  administrative  ability'.  Yet,  the  Legisla 
ture  came  extremely  close  to  putting  him  out  of  a  job  at  the 
end  of  this  year's  session,  and  he  is  under  fire  from  Governor 
Brown  and  State  Controller  Ken  Cory,  among  others. 

Ever  since  Cory  assumed  office  as  state  controller,  he  has 
been  maneuvering  to  remove  Huff,  and  the  reasons  are  not 
entirely  clear.  The  Franchise  Tax  Board,  which  administers 
the  personal  and  corporate  income  taxes,  consists  of  the 
controller,  the  state  director  of  finance  and  the  head  of  the 
state's  other  major  tax-collection  agency,  the  Board  of 
Equalization.  Technically,  the  three-member  board  estab 
lishes  policies  for  Huff  to  follow,  but  in  reality  Huff  has  made 
almost  all  the  decisions  on  how  tax  returns  should  be  han 
dled  since  he  took  office  14  years  ago. 

Huff,  then  the  elected  auditor-controller  for  the  city  of 
Oakland,  was  appointed  to  his  present  job  in  1963  by  former 
Governor  Edmund  G.  (Pat)  Brown.  Huff  was  virtually  given 
the  job  for  life  because  the  law  states  that  he  can  be  removed 
only  by  a  two-thirds  vote  of  the  state  Senate.  The  purpose  of 
that  law  is  simple  —  to  keep  the  collection  of  the  income 
taxes  out  of  politics. 

The  causes  of  conflict 

For  many  years,  the  members  of  the  Franchise  Tax  Board 
met  annually  for  a  quick,  formal  meeting  as  required  by  law 
and  left  things  in  Huffs  hands  the  rest  of  the  time.  But  there 
are  some  major  new  factors  that  have  ended  the  era  of  non- 
involvement,  and  one  of  them  is  the  presence  on  the  board  of 
two  men  who  don't  like  to  delegate  power:  Cory  and  William 
M.  Bennett,  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Equalization.  Other 

•  The  income  tax.  For  many  years,  the  personal  in 
come  tax  was  a  relatively  small  element  of  the  state  revenue 
system.  But  inflation  and  the  progressive  nature  of  the  levy 
have  boosted  it  to  the  point  where  one  of  these  days  it  will 
surpass  the  sales  tax  as  the  state's  top  revenue  producer.  In 
the  current  fiscal  year,  it  is  estimated  that  the  income  tax 
take  will  be  $4.3  billion. 

•  Huff's  bureaucratic  personality  and  jfo-by-t he- 
book  attitude.  Over  the  years,  Huff  has  not  made  it  a  point 
to  curry  favor  among  legislators.  He  has  remained  aloof 
from  politics,  although  he  had  been  active  in  the  Democratic 
Party  prior  to  his  appointment.  As  a  tax  collector,  he  doesn't 
bend  the  rules.  "I've  been  accused  of  being  rigid,"  he  says. 

Carolyn  Street  wrote  about  the  unitary  tax  in  the  Sep 
tember  issue  of  the  Journal. 

"I  feel  I'm  flexible  within  the  law,  but  I  don't  bend  the  law. 
People  don't  like  that.  They  want  you  to  be  flexible,  and  that 
means  look-the-other-way  if  the  law  infringes  on  them  .  .  . 
When  it  comes  to  business,  I  don't  have  any  friends."  Huff 
has  also  been  scrupulous  about  keeping  tax  records  confi 
dential.  (Despite  this,  there  was  a  leak 'from  his  agency  sev 
eral  years  ago  that  resulted  in  newspaper  stories  revealing 
that  Ronald  Reagan  had  not  paid  any  income  tax  in  one 

•  I'ulitiral  reform.  Under  the  Political  Reform  Act  of 
1974,  Huff  has  the  responsibility  for  auditing  campaign  con 
tribution  reports.  He  has  taken  the  job  seriously  and  has 
attempted  to  audit  every  filing.  This  has  angered  legis 
lators,  who  feel  he  is  overzealous  and  anxious  to  embarrass 
them.  This  factor,  perhaps  more  than  any  other,  is  respon 
sible  for  the  legislative  campaign  to  remove  him.  And  since 
Cory  has  many  friends  in  the  Legislature,  it  is  probably  also 
grating  on  him. 

•  Kspense  accounts.  Legislators  receive  $35  a  day  in 
expense  money  during  sessions.  Huff  has  called  for  audits  to 

This  cartoon  is  credited  with  turning  the  Brown  Administration 
around  on  the  advisability  of  removing  Martin  Huff  from  office. 


'Really,  Mr.  Huff,  we're  not  going  to  chop  off 
vour  head:  mavha  vour  arm  or  a  hand: 


'What  I  resent  is  being  treated  like  any  other 
California  taxpayer!' 

determine  how  much  of  this  per-diem  income  should  be 
taxed  by  the  state.  The  Legislature  passed  a  bill  this  year 
making  clear  that  these  funds  cannot  be  taxed. 

•  The  unitary  tax.  Huff  is  a  prime  advocate  of  the 
so-called  unitary  system  of  taxation  (See  "Brown's  quick 
switch"  in  last  month's  Journal)  and  was  responsible  for  the 
Governor  opposing  a  United  States-Great  Britain  treaty 
eliminating  that  form  of  corporate  taxation.  That  was  before 
Brown  went  to  Japan  seeking  industrial  development.  Upon 
his  return,  Brown  did  a  turnabout  on  the  unitary  tax  and 
accused  Huff  of  supplying  him  with  "flaky  data."  Late  last 
month,  Brown  retracted  his  prior  stand  before  Congress 
and  said  the  cost  of  the  treaty  to  California  would  be  far  less 
than  the  $125  million  estimated  by  Huff. 

•  The  Nixon  case.  Bennett  became  upset  with  Huff 
because  the  executive  officer  refused  to  engage  in  a  wide- 
open  investigation  of  possible  state  income  tax  violations  by 
Richard  Nixon  during  the  Watergate  scandal. 

Strong  enemies,  few  friends 

In  short,  by  merely  doing  his  job  and  scrupulously  trying 
to  maximize  state  tax  collections,  Huff  has  made  powerful 
enemies  and  few  friends.  About  his  only  major  public  defen 
der  has  been  state  Senator  Nicholas  C.  Petris  of  Oakland,  a 
tax  specialist  and  an  old  friend  from  Oakland.  Petris  claims 
he  has  never  heard  anyone  charge  Huff  with  anything  signi 
ficant.  He  says  there  are  forces  in  the  Legislature  who  want 
to  drop  Huff  "because  of  his  stand  on  the  per  diem  problem." 
Cory,  Petris  adds,  has  been  "plotting  and  planning  to  get  rid 
of  Martin  Huff  for  some  time." 

Petris,  among  others,  is  convinced  that  Cory  obtained  a 
commitment  at  one  point  from  the  Governor  to  go  along  with 
a  plan  that  would  have  the  effect  of  firing  Huff.  Under  this 
scheme,  the  Franchise  Tax  Board  would  send  Huff  on  a  slow 
boat  to  China  or  almost  anywhere  else  he  wanted  to  go  out 

side  of  California  to  study  tax  collection.  Meanwhile  his  job 
would  be  filled  by  a  temporary  executive  officer  beholden  to 
Bennett,  Cory  and  the  Governor.  (Brown  has  a  vote  on  the 
board  through  the  Director  of  Finance,  who  serves  at  the 
will  of  the  Governor.)  Bennett  claims  this  plan  fell  apart 
when  the  Sacramento  Bee  published  a  cartoon  by  Dennis 
Renault  showing  the  politicians  (Brown  and  Cory)  clobber 
ing  the  honest  public  servant  (Huff)  because  he  wasn't  doing 
their  bidding.  Brown  may  have  decided  at  that  point  that 
dumping  Huff  wouldn't  be  such  a  wise  move  after  all. 

Petris  has  been  telling  anyone  who  would  listen  that  it 
would  be  stupid  politics  to  fire  Huff  because  the  media 
would  make  Huff  the  hero  and  make  legislators  look  like 
sleazy,  money-grubbing  politicians.  Bennett  said  the  firing 
of  Huff  would  be  comparable  to  Nixon's  firing  of  Archibald 
Cox  as  Watergate  special  prosecutor,  but  Bennett  is  given 
to  dramatization. 

One  reason  why  the  Huff  puzzle  is  difficult  to  unravel  is 
that  those  who  want  him  fired  often  agree  with  him  on 
specific  issues.  Cory,  for  example,  has  been  one  of  Huffs 
allies  on  the  unitary-tax  question.  Bennett  wanted  the 
board  to  take  more  power  and  blasted  Huff  on  the  Nixon 
issue  but  he  has  defended  him  to  the  hilt  when  others  have 
tried  to  fire  him.  The  Governor,  who  turned  sour  on  Huff's 
unitary-tax  stand,  is  one  of  the  few  politicians  who  supports 
his  audits  of  campaign  reports. 

It  is  probably  the  campaign-contribution  audits  that  have 
produced  the  most  difficulty  for  Huff.  The  Legislature  went 
so  far  as  to  put  in  this  year's  state  budget  a  provision  limit 
ing  the  amount  of  audits  the  Franchise  Tax  Board  could 
undertake.  Brown  vetoed  that  language  from  the  budget, 
and  Legislative  Counsel  Bion  Gregory  offered  an  opinion 
that  Brown's  act  was  unconstitutional  because  the  Governor 
is  restricted  to  reducing  or  eliminating  appropriations.  In  a 
bizarre  legal  step,  Cory  on  September  27th  voted  as  a 
member  of  the  Franchise  Tax  Board  to  institute  action 
against  himself  as  controller,  so  that  the  conflict  between 
Brown  and  the  Legislature  on  this  point  could  be  adjudi 

Cory,  as  controller,  had  been  asked  by  the  Legislature  to 
withhold  funds  for  the  full  audits.  During  the  dispute,  Sen 
ate  Democratic  leader  David  Roberti  charged  that  Huffs 
political-reform  division  had  become  "a  political  police  force, 
for  which  Huff  should  be  censured."  Huff  subsequently 
raised  the  issue  of  expense-account  taxation.  That,  Huff 
said,  "was  like  pouring  gasoline  on  a  fire." 

Where  the  power  lies 

Cory  has  made  it  clear  that  he  wants  Huff's  power  taken 
back  by  the  board.  "At  the  heart  of  what's  going  on  here." 
Cory  told  Huff,  "is  that  it's  your  function  to  serve  the  board, 
not  ours  to  serve  you."  Huff  responds  that  he  realizes  his 
power  is  delegated.  "We're  trying  to  do  our  job  .  .  .  What 
authority  they  delegate,  I  have.  And  that's  what  I  have 
problems  with.  A  group  of  people  cannot  manage  anything, 
they  can  only  set  broad  policy.  There's  no  battle  here;  it's  a 
one-way  attack.  All  we  do  is  serve  the  board,  and  they  send 
out  confused,  conflicting  messages." 

One  of  the  problems  is  that  the  board  has  delegated  so 
much  authority  for  so  long  that  it  is  a  practical  impossibility 
to  take  it  back.  Furthermore,  the  law  requires  that  all  meet 
ings  with  Huff  on  personnel  matters  must  be  held  in  public. 
And  that  has  turned  out  to  be  an  important  weapon  for  Huff. 

When  Cory  goes  on  the  attack,  Huff  asks  for  specific  com 
plaints.  Cory  has  thus  far  complained  primarily  of  relatively 
minor  matters.  At  one  meeting,  Cory  accused  Huff  of  chill 
ing  a  study  of  Franchise  Tax  Board  operations  by  the  au 
ditor  general,  a  study  requested  by  Assemblyman  Willie 
Brown,  head  of  the  Lower  House  revenue  and  taxation 




committee.  The  controller  said  Huff's  staff  was  making  it 
difficult  for  the  auditor  general's  staff  to  get  information, 
but  by  that  time  Huff  said  he  had  solved  all  the  problems. 
Huff  said  later  that  "the  charges  seemed  like  small  things 
blown  way  out  of  proportion,  as  if  he  were  looking  for  some 
thing  ...  He  should  have  complained  in  a  timely  manner, 
instead  of  storing  them  up  like  a  little  kid."  He  added  that  it 
was  difficult  to  get  feedback  "in  an  atmosphere  of  pure  hos 

The  man  who  often  gets  put  in  the  middle  is  the  deputy 
director  of  finance,  Sid  McCausland,  who  usually  represents 
Finance  Director  Roy  Bell  (and  thus  the  Governor)  on  the 
panel.  McCausland  claims  Huff  rarely  asks  the  board  for 
"advice  and  consent"  on  agency  activities.  Huff  won't  give 
board  members  information  on  tax  returns  without  written 
justification,  and  overall  security  at  the  agency  is  very 
tight,  according  to  McCausland.  Assemblyman  Brown  said 
he  requested  the  audit  because  he  couldn't  get  information 
he  wanted  on  corporate  taxation.  Governor  Brown  accused 
Huff  of  having  unitary-tax  information  locked  up  in  a  "black 

Last  February,  Bennett  joined  with  Cory  to  chip  away  at 
Huff's  authority  —  over  the  opposition  of  Bell  and  McCaus 
land.  The  board  reclaimed  the  right  to  appoint  top  staff 
members  and  to  examine  tax  returns,  but  McCausland 
claims  this  has  united  staff  members  behind  Huff.  "They 
knowtheir  boss  is  a  tyrant,"  says  McCausland,  "but  they 
also  knc .  he's  consistent  and  won't  pull  the  rug  out  from 
under  any  one  of  them." 

The  Brown  Administration  went  over  to  the  other  side 
when  Brown  started  a  heavy  love  affair  with  the  business 
community.  Huff  has  been  at  war  with  corporate  America 


1 .  Title  of  publication 

2  Dale  ol  filing.  September  15.  1977 

3  Frequency  of  issue  Monthly  Number  of  issues  published  annually   12 
Annual  subscription  price  $15.  $30.  $50 

4  Location  of  Known  Office  of  Publication  1617  1 0th  Street.  Sacramento. 
CA  95814 

5  Location  of  general  business  offices  of  the  publishers  Same 

6  Names  and  addresses  of  Publisher   Editor,  and  Managing  Editor  Pub 
lisher.  Thomas  P.  Ho«b«r.  1617  1 0th  Street  Sacramento.  C A  9581 4  Editor. 
Ed  Salzman.  1617  10th  Street.  Sacramento.  CA  95814  Managing  Editor. 
Alice  Nauman.  1617  101h  Street.  Sacramento.  CA  95614. 

7  Owner   California  Center  tor  Research  and  Education  in  Government. 
1617  10th  Street.  Sacramento.  CA  95814 

8  Known  bond-holders,  mortgagees,  and  other  security-holders  owning  or 
holding  1  percent  or  more  of  total  amount  of  bonds,  mortgages  or  other 
securities  None. 

9  For  completion  by  nonprofit  organizations  authorized  to  mail  at  special 
rates  The  purpose,  function,  and  nonprofit  status  of  this  organization  and 
the  exempt  status  for  federal  income  tax  purposes  have  not  changed  during 
preceding  12  months. 

10    Extent  and  nature  of  circulation 

A    Total  copies  printed 
B    Paid  circulation 

1  Sales  through  dealers  and  carriers, 
street  vendors  and  counter  sales 

2  Mail  subscriptions 
C    Total  paid  circulation 

0    Free  distribution  by  mail,  carrier  or  other 
means,  samples,  complimentary 
and  other  free  copies 
E    Total  distribution 
F    Copies  not  distributed 

1    Office  use  left  over,  unaccounted. 

spoiled,  after  printing 
2.  Returns  from  news  agents 
G    Total 

Number  of 

Each  issue 

12  Months 





1  635 



Number  of 





Nearest  To 

Filing  Date 







I  certify  that  the  statements  made  by  me  above  are  correct  and  complete 
THOMAS  H    MOEBER   PuOlisffr 

for  many  years,  fighting  for  every  tax  dollar  he  can  possibly 
corral.  He  established  field  offices  in  Chicago  and  New  York 
to  go  after  lost  taxes  from  the  Fortune  magazine  top-500 
businesses.  The  auditor  general  has  estimated  that  the  state 
has  collected  $17.50  in  taxes  for  every  dollar  spent  on  these 
field  offices.  (Huff  says  the  figure  is  conservative.)  Huff  is 
recognized  as  the  national  leader  in  the  advocacy  of  the  uni 
tary  tax,  which  the  Governor  now  opposes  and  multi 
national  corporations  have  long  detested. 

Cory's  ill-fated  attack 

Brown's  disaffection  with  Huff  on  the  unitary  tax  gave 
Huff's  other  enemies  the  courage  to  act.  Cory  tried  to  engi 
neer  the  "get-Huff  move  on  the  board  and  was  surprised 
when  it  failed.  He  appealed  to  Huffs  harshest  critic  up  to 
that  time,  Bennett,  and  came  up  empty-handed.  Bennett,  as 
a  consumer  advocate,  has  been  at  war  with  the  business 
community  even  longer  than  Huff.  "Brown  is  going  to  give 
your  head  to  Cory  on  a  platter,"  Bennett  recalls  he  told 
Huff,  "but  I'm  going  to  try  to  save  you."  Huff  says  of  Ben 
nett:  "I  understand  where  Bennett's  coming  from.  He  likes 
publicity.  That's  how  he  functions  .  .  .  But  when  it  comes 
down  to  the  nitty-gritty,  he's  in  the  right  corner." 

Failing  with  Bennett,  Cory  expected  a  vote  from  Brown's 
finance  director.  According  to  McCausland,  Cory  thought 
he  had  the  Administration's  backing  for  a  plan  to  send  Huff 
on  a  long-term  trip.  Cory  later  gave  McCausland  "strong 
vibes  that  he  thought  he  had  a  commitment  from  the  Admin 
istration,  a  commitment  he  thought  had  been  broken."  Was 
there  a  commitment,  and  if  so  was  it  broken  because  of  the 
Renault  cartoon?  In  any  event,  Bennett  and  McCausland 
left  Cory  out  on  a  limb.  And  Huff's  job  was  secure  —  at  least 
for  another  few  days. 

Legislators  then  became  involved  in  a  variety  of  moves 
designed  to  curb  Huffs  authority  or  remove  him.  Willie 
Brown  was  a  key  figure.  He  claims  Huff  plays  too  large  an 
"adversarial  role"  in  government,  and  he  feels  Huff  is  unco 
operative  in  providing  the  Legislature  with  unbiased  fig 
ures  on  bills  when  Huffs  position  differs  from  Brown's.  The 
anti-Huff  proposal  at  one  point  was  inserted  into  a  measure 
providing  an  exemption  from  unitary  taxation  for  the 
Arabian-American  Oil  Company.  Primarily  through  Petris' 
efforts,  Huff  was  saved  again. 

During  the  debate,  it  became  clear  that  legislators  were 
primarily  upset  about  the  detailed  auditing  done  by  Huffs 
crew  on  campaign  reports.  Ironically,  Huff  had  tried  to  re 
sist  the  placement  of  the  auditing  function  in  his  agency, 
because  he  knew  it  would  cause  him  a  great  deal  of  trouble. 
But  it  was  given  to  the  Franchise  Tax  Board  anyhow.  Petris 
feels  that  anyone  given  that  function  would  have  been  a 
loser,  "because  he  has  to  deal  with  120  prima  donnas,  not 
counting  all  the  other  prima  donnas  out  there  who  want  to 
replace  us." 

The  chance  of  survival 

Can  Huff  survive,  and,  if  so,  for  how  long?  Huff  says  he 
would  have  left  a  year  ago  if  he  had  seen  the  series  of  politi 
cal  tornadoes  coming.  Huff  claims  he  doesn't  worry  about 
what's  happening.  "I  can  look  at  it  as  a  detached  observer 
and  wonder  at  all  this  foolishness.  I  do  the  best  I  can.  I  sleep 
well  at  night." 

The  fight  over  Martin  Huff  is  far  from  over.  The  Legisla 
ture  obtained  a  new  weapon  on  the  last  day  of  the  session 
when  Assemblyman  Dan  Boatwright  received  an  opinion 
from  the  legislative  counsel  that  the  two-thirds  Senate  vote 
required  to  remove  Huff  may  not  be  constitutional.  Strip 
ped  of  that  special  protection,  how  long  can  a  tax  collector 
hold  out  against  the  might  of  the  state's  political  establish 
ment?  A 





MARTIN  HUFF  has  been  executive 
officer  of  the  California  Stare  Franchise 
Tax  Board,  which  has  responsibility  for 
collecting  state  rexes,  since  1963.  ho  has 
also  been  a  port-rime  faculty  member  or 
the  School  of  Business  ond  Public  Admin 
istration  of  California  State  Universiry  in 
Sacramento.  He  formerly  served  as 
audiror-comptrcller  for  the  city  of 

Ediror  s  Mere  This  &  foe  sevenrh  ir>  o  senes  of  1 5 
o/ncles  exploring  Cciiforrna  rax  issu«.  Ir.  this  amcle. 
Mccn  Hjff  executive  officer  of  the  California  Store 
Fronct-.ise  Tax.  Ooartf,  to  faorures  of  a  sound 
peTcnot  iocorn;?  rex  iaw.  uses  rN?iTi  to  ^Aji'jOte 
Colifor-io's  pfeseri'  sysi»?T>  oirJ  suggesrs  spc-dfic 
irrpro-^vr>p.-,rs  Th,s  series  is  co-sporwxed  tov  Coursf", 
by  N<?v.-5p3OCT  a  pfo.ecr  of  Unive-ity  ts.'enyvc . 
Un^•c^i^/  cf  CC;.?CT.IO,  Son  Oego.  and  me  California 
Tax  rvfcrm  Ajv.x-'C-'on  Pourooron  It  15  furdcd  by 
rhe  CoiifsfOJO  Cw-incil  for  rh<?  H-.-ncntnes  m  Pbbrc 


Martin  Huff 

California's  Persona!  Income  Tax 
Law  is  confusing,  difficuir  ro  admin 
ister,  and  unfair. 

In  parr,  this  results  from  the 
state's  policy  of  selective,  bur  sub 
stantial,  conformity  ro  the  U.S. 
Internal  Revenue  Code.  Like  rhe 
federal  code,  state  law  has  become 
a  porchwork  of  exclusions,  deduc 
tions,  exemptions,  credits,  and 
special  rares. 

What  can  we  do  to  reform  our 
srare  law?  idealty,  we  should  forsake 
rhe  federal  mode!,  scrap  cur  present 
low  and  design  a  new  one.  fseolisrtc- 
ally,  we  are  limited  re  wording 
within  rhe  framework  of  existing  lew, 
to  make  if  simpler  and  more  equit 

The  first  step  is  ro  ouriine  rhe  key 
fearures  of  a  sound  law. 

•  Ir  should  be  understandable  in 
concept  end  operation. 

•  Ir  should  be  as  simple  as 
economic  realiries  will  permit. 

•  Revisions  should  be  measured 
ogoinsr  overall  fairness,  rax- 
payer  understanding  and 
relative  ease  of  administration. 

•  Where  there  is  a  conflict 
between  fairness  ro  a  particular 
sector  and  overall  fairness,  the? 
totter  should  prevail. 

The  second  step  is  to  set  forth 
some  fundamenral  tenors. 

•  There  is  c  need  for  progressrvity, 
i.e.,  o  scole  of  increasing  mar- 
girol  rax  rotes  as  income 
increases  ("obility  ro  pay' '). 

•  Income  Is  income.  This  sro?e- 
menf  of  the  obvious  strikes  or 
one  of  the  most  airicol  defects 
in  the  present  system,  i.e.,  rhe 
notion  rhar  some  kinds  of 
income  should  be  excluded 
from  the  tax  base. 

•  Those  advocating  loopholes 
(preferences)  should  be  re- 
quired  ro  support  rheir  cose  with 
objective  factual  information. 

The  third  srep  is  ro  dispe!  two 
myths.  One  myth  is  that  blind  con 
formity  to  federal  exclusions,  deduc 
tions,  ond  exemptions  is  desirable.  In 
reality,  conformity  con  mean 
inequity.  The  dollar  benefits  of 
special  tax  breaks  are  distributed 
unevenly  among  taxpayers.  The 
result  is  that  a  disproportionate  share 
of  the  tax  burden  is  shifted  to 
middle- income  taxpayers. 

Fur;hermore,  conformity  usually 
means  complexity.  The  greater  the 
number  of  special  provision:,  th3 
more  difficult  it  becomes  for  rcx- 
pay?rs  to  understand  ond  comply 
with  roe  iow  and  for  administrators 
to  ioierprei  and  enforce  if. 

The  second  myth  is  thar  store  tax 
law  con  be  used  to  bolster  the 
economy  or  change  society.  It  is  true 
rhar  federal  tax  low.  with  its  high 
rar<?s,  may  o'fecr  taxpayers'  econo 
mic  df*  it.iorv.  Rut  ColitO'nio  s 
perscrxjl  income  tax  rates  of  1  to  11 
psrcenr  ere  too  low  to  induce  rax- 
poyers  ro  alter  their  choices.  When 
taxpayers'  atrions  are  motivated  by 
federal  law,  s:m;lar  stare  provisions 
reword  those  actions  with  windfall 

Taking  these  factors  into  consi 
deration,  there  ore  six  reforms  that 
would  rndse  tfv?  present  low  both 
simpler  and  more  equitable. 

First,  eliminate  preferential  treat 
ment  of  copitoi  gains.  The  capital 
gains  provisions  contribute  the  most 
*o  the  complexiV  of  our  ?ox  laws. 
fhoy  ax-  cko  unfair:  they  favor 
i^veitme.-r  over  labor.  The  person 
wi*h  investment  income  can  exclude 


as  much  as  50  per  cent  of  rhe  gain 
from  tax.  The  person  with  only  salary 
income,  however,  is  taxed  on  every 
dollar  earned  The  amount  of  tax 
should  be  a  function  of  ability  to 
pay,  which  is  based  on  the  amount 
of  income,  nor  its  source. 

Second,  include  ttonsfer  pay 
ments  in  taxable  income,  excluding 
that  portion  previously  taxed  to  the 
recipient.  The  "obility  to  pay"  of  a 
person  with  a  $20,000  income,  parr 
of  which  is  from  unemployment 
insurance,  welfare  or  social  security,  is 
the  same  as  that  of  a  person  with 
$20,000  income  entirely  from 

Third,  eliminate  deductions  and 
credits  for  homeownership,  rental, 
and  other  normal  personal  expendi 
tures.  Activ;rier)  subsidized  through 
special  deductions  ond  credirs  range 
from  homeownership  ro  the  pur 
chase  of  solar  energy  devices.  All 
moy  be  desirable  from  an  economic 
or  social  standpoint  but  state  per 
sonal  income  rax  low  is  not  a  good 
tool  for  economic  or  social  engineer 
ing.  Its  purpose  should  be  to  gene- 
rare  revenue  for  needed  services. 
Taxable  income  should  be  reduced 
only  by  the  cost  of  producing 
income  or  ihe  costs  of  uncontrol 
lable,  catastrophic  events  which  dras 
tically  reduce  ability  to  pay. 

Fourth,  substitute  tax  credits  for 
deductions.  Deductions  favor  high 
income  taxpayers,  whereas  credirs 
benefit  taxpayers  equally. 

Fifth,  liberalize  the  income 
averaging  provisions.  We  extract  a 
higher  rax  from  persons  whose 
income  fluctuates  greatly  from  year 
to  year.  This  inequity  should  be 

And  finally,  increase  rhe  breadih 
and  number  of  rax  brackets.  If 
special  tax  breaks  are  eliminared, 
needed  revenues  can  be  generated 
at  lower  rates  Taxpayers  would  nor 
move  so  rapidly  into  higher  tax 

Adoption  of  rhe  above  sugges 
tions  would  result  in  a  more  under 
standable  and  more  equirable  Cali 
fornia  Persona!  Income  Tax  Law. 

1M-  vie-vs  evresv.'-d  dc  not  necessr-'V  reject  Those 
;  I**  ~,iember$  c'  >•>>  ixx  t1  -c  w  >-cf  -\v  hi.  •ft 

Copyrigh-  *  1976  by  the  Regents  of  The 
University  of  California. 

The  views  e*pre:v?d  «•  this  Xf  cs  ore  thos?  of 
the  author;  only  and  do  "of  r*~:es?or:ly  nepxeyx:'  *e 
vie..-,  of  ftie  sponsoring  or  funOing  ogenaei  &  ci  n-<- 

Next  Veek   Perry  Shapiro  docu-sif.  the  effccn  cf 
inflation  on  CoWomio  s  thfee  mojor  taxes:  property. 
lotes.  ond  income. 



6  June  1906  -  16  May  1980 

Memorial  Service 
Kentfield,  California 

Roger  Kent  had  class  -  in  a  very  special  way,  but  he  was  as  comfortable  as  an 
old  shoe.   His  class  was  marked  by  his  style,  his  courage,  and  his  leadership. 
The  old  shoe  mark  was  evidenced  by  many  things  -  by  the  bulging,  dog-eared  wallet 
he  carried  while  a  pile  of  new  ones  languished  in  the  bureau  at  home;  by  the  old 
Plymouth  he  loved  to  bounce  around  in;  by  the  outdated  Tux  with  the  crumpled  top 
hat  that  he  WOIE  gloriously  to  Pat  Brown's  first  Inaugural  Ball;  and  the  most  con 
stant  symbol  of  all  -  that  battered  old  satchel  that  went  with  him  whenever  he 

The  first  time  1  met  that  satchel  was  almost  the  last  time.  We  were  all  scramb 
ling  out  of  the  airporter  upon  arrival  at  the  Coronado  Hotel  for  a  Democratic 
State  Central  Executive  Committee  meeting.   I  was  traveling  light  with  one  small 
bag,  so  offered  to  help  Roger  with  his  gear.   I  found  later  that  he  seldom  let 
anyone  else  carry  that  particular  piece  of  luggage  and  I  soon  discovered  why. 
When  we  reached  the  hotel  desk,  in  juggling  bags,  the  satchel  slipped  and  hit  the 
floor  with  a  clinky  thud.   The  drop  was  only  a  few  inches,  but  Roger  was  on  top 
of  it  in  an  instant  with  a  look  of  total  consternation  on  his  face.   I  apologized, 
but  was  a  little  bewildered  by  all  the  fuss.   I'll  tell  you  this.   If  his  precious 
bottled  goods  had  been  smashed,  I  wouldn't  be  standing  here  today. 

When  I  was  considerably  younger,  my  standard  for  'old  age*  was  measured  by  those 
who  continually  talked  of  the  'good  old  days'.  Well  I  guess  I  know  how  to  classi 
fy  myself,  now,  because  the  fifties  and  early  sixties  in  Northern  California  Demo 
cratic  politics  were  indeed  the  GOOD  OLD  DAYS  -  or  as  Libby  so  eloquently  put  it 
in  her  article  on  Roger  -  the  Golden  Age  of  Democratic  Politics  in  California. 

The  Roger  Kent  style  and  motivation  can  all  be  summed  up  in  a  simple,  but  very 
hard  hitting  six  word  statement  that  was  put  into  the  mouth  of  an  Arabian  the 
other  night  in  the  TV  drama  "Death  of  a  Princess".  When  queried  by  the  reporter 
as  to  why  the  Princess  had  broken  out  of  her  customs  and  traditions  in  the  face 
of  a  life  style  that  provided  every  possible  creature  comfort,  he  replied,  "She 
wanted  'to  be  rather  than  to  have'".  I  think  that  is  a  very  apt  characterization 
of  what  Roger  stood  for  and  his  philosophy  of  life. 

Roger  and  Libby  and  Don  were  the  nucleus  of  one  of  the  great  political  families 
of  all  time.   There  was  a  special  ambience  to  it  all.   By  some  sort  of  conscious 
and  natural  selection,  a  group  of  people  devoted  to  making  our  political  system 
work  were  brought  together.   Those  who  stayed  all  seemed  to  share  a  commonality 
of  interest  with  respect  to  the  issues  of  the  times.   For  this  reason,  very  little 
energy  had  to  be  devoted  to  arguing  the  issues  within  the  group.   Those  who  stayed 
were  by  and  large  primarily  devoted  to  the  political  process  against  a  liberal 
philosophical  set.  Single  issue  'types'  didn't  survive  long  in  that  milieu. 

It  can  all  be  summed  up  in  one  phrase:  Our  Glorious  Leader  and  the  212  Gang. 
While  the  old  212  Headquarters  has  been  long  gone,  and  while  Roger  is  newly 
gone  in  body,  they  are  both  with  us  today  and  will  be  for  all  time. 

Martin  Huff 
May  22,  1980 


INDEX  —  Martin  Huff* 

Aerojet  General    Co.,      55 
Agriculture  and   Services  Agency,      7 
Alameda   County 

politics   in,    11.    13-14,   25-26,   32, 

36.    48 

Institutions   Commission,      16-17 
Allen,    John.      25 

exempt,      7-8 

judicial,      13.    47-48.   59.   60-62 
Arnold.    Stan,      24 
automobile   emission   controls, 

legislation,      12 

ballot  measures,    initiative,      42-43 

Bank  of   America,      56 

Bay   Conservation  and   Development 

Commission    (BCDC) ,      12 
Betts,    Bert,      38 
Bird,    Rose,      48.    64 
Bjorr.son,    Anga,      13 
Black,    Hugo,      3-4 
Bosley,    Chuck.      60 
Bradley.    Don.      10,    28.   30.   37,   50, 


Bradley,    John  B.    G.  ,      60 
Bradley,    Tom,      40 
Brown.    Edmund  G.  f    Jr.    (Jerry),      13, 

47-48,   60.    63.   64 
Brown,    Edmund  G. ,    Sr.    (Pat),      1,    9, 

14-15,    24,    26.    28-29,   34,   46-47, 

52.   54 

cabinet,    governor's,      7-8.   52-53 
California  Democratic   Council.      1, 

29-31,    36.   41 
California  Republican  Assembly.      30- 

campaign  finance,      22-23,    27,   34-35, 

38,    62-63 

campaign  management,      38-39.    41 
Carpenter,    Paul   B. ,      33 
Chamber   of   Commerce.      2 
Champion,    Hale,      1,    8-15,   46,    83. 
Christopher.   George.      2 
civil    service,      45-46 
Clark,   William   P.,      53 
Coke,    Earl   J.  .      7-8 
Collier,    Randolph,     11 
computers,      55.   56 
Congress,    U.S.,      12,   25 
constitution,      2,   8,    24,    42-43,    45, 

52,   53 

Copertini,    Cyr  Mullens.      12-13,   40 
Costantini.    Ed,      59 
courts,      47-48 
Cranston.    Alan.      30.   31.   36,    43-44. 

46,   61 

crossfiling.      24,   32 
Crown,    Bob,      13 

Day,    Dick,      59 

Democratic  National    Convention,    1960, 


California   delegation,      14-15,   28- 

Democratic   party.    Democrats,      7,    19, 

30.   40-42.    47 

*Unless   otherwise  noted,    government  entities  and  locations  refer  to 




23-24,    26-27 

Democratic   State   Central    Committee. 

1.    20.    27-29.   31,   36,    47 

endorsements,      13-14 

field  work,      6-7,   25 

young  turks,      11,    21 

finances,      22-23,    27 

southern   California, 
Dempsey,    Betty,      6 
Dempsey,    Van,      6-7,    23.    25,   36,    41, 


Deukmejian,    George,      40,   51 
Dieden,    Leonard,      48 
Dodge   plant,    San  Leandro,      4-5 
Doerr,    Dave,      54-55 

elections,    special,      7,   24 

1946.      20.   32 

1948.      19-20,    42 

1952,      29-30 

1954,      25.    30 

1958,      7.    11.    13.    25-26,    38-40 

1960.      13-15,    27-29,    34-35.    62 

1964.      10.   36-37 

1966.      47 

1986.      40 

Employment,    Department   of,      55-56 
Engle,    CLair,      32,   36-37 
Engle,    Lu,      32 
environmental    protection 

legislation,      12 
Equalization.    Board  of.      32-33.   44- 

ethics,      2.    7-9.   35,   46.    62,   64 

Gatov.    Elizabeth,      23,   28 

General   Services.    Department  of,      8, 


Gonsalves,    Joe  A.,     58 
governor,    office   of    (Edmund  G. 

Brown,    Sr. ) ,      1 
governor-    office   of    (Ronald  Reagan), 

8-9,   58-59.    Ill 

Governor's   Conference,      1966,      1,   9 
Graves,    Richard,      25-26 

Hall,    Kenneth   F.  ,      52 

Harris,    Joseph,      42 

highways,      47 

Holmdahl,    John,      13-14.   21 

Houlihan,    John,      2,   16 

Huff.    Anne.      6.    18.    19,   25.   29.   36. 

41,    43 

Huff   sons,      3,    4,   5,    13,   26-27 
Humphrey,    Hubert,      1,   15 

Independent  Progressive  Party    (IPP), 

20.    42. 

inflation,    1970s,      43 
initiative  measures,      42-43 
Internal   Revenue   Service,      U.S.,      63 

Jarvis-Gann  tax  limitation 

initiative    (Prop.    13,    1978),      43 

Johnson,    Ross,      43 

judges,    appointment   of,      13,   48,   59, 

Fazio,   Vic,      10 

federal    government,      56,    57,   59,    61- 


Fifteenth  Assembly  District,   11,  26 
Finance,  Department  of,   8,  54 
Franchise  Tax  Board,   7-8,  12,  43, 

44,  46,  63,  64 

and   income   tax  withholding,      54-59 
Franchise  Tax  Commissioner,      45-46 

Keene,    Jim,      61 

Kefauver,    Estes,      14-15 

Kennedy.    John   F. ,      13-15,   28-29,   34 

Kennedy,    Robert,      34 

Kent,    Roger,      23,   28.   33,   36,   37, 

47.   50.    60-61 
Knight  Goodwin,      8 
Knowland,    Joseph,      16-17 
Knox,    John  T.  ,      9 

labor   unions,      6-7,    19,    20,    60 
legislature,    legislation,      10-12, 

A3,   46.    47,   52,    54.   56-57,    63 

staff.      10.   35 

politics   and,      13,    23-24,   33-34 

salaries,      52 
Life  magazine,      1,   4 
Lincoln,   Luther    (Abe),      11,    26 
lobbying,    lobbyists.      12,    25,   34,    60 
loyalty   oath,      6 
Lynch,    John,      44 

Malone,    Bill,      12 

McAteer,    Eugene,      12 

McCarthy,    John,      53,   54 

McColgan,    Charles  J.  ,      45-46 

media,      1.    4.    14-15,    16.   35.   58.   62 

merchant  marine,      18-19 

Mesple,    Frank,      12 

Miller,   George,   Jr..      10-11,   24.  30, 


Miller.    George,    III,      41 
Miller,    George   P.  .      25 
Morse,   Wayne,      29-30 
Mulford,    Don,      53 
Munnell,   William.      23 
Murphy,    George,      40 

Nevins,    Dick,      31 
Nixon,    Pat.      63 

Nixon,    Richard  M. ,      10.   34,   61.   62. 


auditor-controller,      13,    16-17,   21 
22.    46 

city   council,      5.   21-22 

mayor,      2,   5,    16,    21 

See  also  Alameda   County 
O'Brien,    Larry,      14 
Odegard,    Peter,      6 
O'Gara,    Gerald,      15 
one  man- one  vote,      24 

Orr,    Verne,      51 

Orrick.   William  H.  .      61-62 

Osborne.    Bob,      21 

0' Sullivan.   Virgil,      24 

patronage,      35,   43 
Pearson,    Osborne  A.  ,      14,   20 
Peterson  Tractor   Co. ,      4-5 
Petris,    Nick,      9-13,   21.    26 
polls,    political,      39-40 
Priest,    Ivy  Baker,     58-59 
public  administration,      22 
Public  Works,    Department   of,      9 
Purchio,    John  J.  ,      48 

Rattigan,    Joe,      24 
Reagan,    Ronald,      38,   77-78 

as  governor,      2,   7,  47,   53-54,  58 

as   president,     50.  51 
Reed.    Dana,      9 
Reilly,   George,     45 
Reinhardt,    Stephen,      32 
renters,      43 
Republican  party  i    Republicans,      8> 

21,   25.   30.   40,    43.   54,   61, 
Rice,    George.      13 
Ringwalt,    Louise,      60 
Rishell,    Clifford,      21 
Rogers,   Will,    Jr..      20 
Roosevelt,    Eleanor,      28 
Rothenberg.    Martin,      21 

Sacramento  State  University,      5-6 

Salinger,    Pierre,      10,   37 

San  Francisco,    politics   in,      12 

Secret  Service,      13 

senate,    California,      24-25 

secretary   of   state,    office   of,     58 

single- is  sue   politics,      41-43,    83 

Sloss,    Nancy,      31 

Smith,    Gordon  Paul,      52-53 

Smith,   Joe,      5 

Snyder,    Liz,      24,   29 

Stevenson,    Adlai,      15,   28,   30,   62, 


Stiern,   Walter.      11 
Strathman,    Earl.      17 
Sullivan.    Ray.      35 
supreme   court,      48 

tax  reform,    property.      9,   24-25,    43 
tax  withholding,      51-59.    62,    63 
taxation,    taxes,      43,    45-46,   51,   54, 


Teale.    Stephen,      24 
Teitelbaum,    Bernard.      60 
Tobriner.    Matt,      48 
Toll  Bridge  Authority,      8-9 
Tomlinson.    Jack,      59 
treasurer,    office   of,     58 
Tribune,    Oakland,      16 
Tripp.    Pete,      21 
Truman,    Harry,      20 
Tunney,    John,      61 

United  Auto  Workers,      7 

University   of    California,    Berkeley, 

6,   26 

Extension,      19 
Unruh,    Jesse   M. ,      14,    23,   33-34 

volunteers,    in  politics,      31,    35, 

36,   38.    40 
voters,    voting,      34-35,   39-41 

Warren,    Charles,      48 
Warschaw,    Carmen,      33 
Weinberger,    Caspar,      46,   51 
Whitecotton,    Dr.  ,      17 
Williams,    Bob,      8 
women,    and   politics,      29,   36 
World  War   II,    experiences   during, 

Gabrielle  Morris 

Graduate  of  Connecticut  College,  New  London, 
in  economics;  independent  study  in 
journalism  and  creative  writing;  additional 
study  at  Trinity  College  and  Stanford  University. 

Historian,  U.S.  Air  Force,  documenting  Berlin 
Air  Lift,  other  post-World  War  II  issues. 
Public  relations  and  advertising  for  retail 
and  theater  organizations  in  Connecticut. 
Research,  writing,  policy  development  on 
Bay  Area  community  issues  for  University  of 
California,  Bay  Area  Council  of  Social  Planning, 
Berkeley  Unified  School  District,  and  others. 

Interviewer-editor,  Regional  Oral  History 
Office,  The  Bancroft  Library,  1970- 
Emphasis  on  local  community  and  social  history; 
and  state  government  history  documentation 
focused  on  selected  administrative,  legislative, 
and  political  issues  in  the  gubernatorial 
administrations  of  Earl  Warren,  Goodwin  Knight, 
Edmund  G.  Brown,  Sr.,  and  Ronald  Reagan. 

1980-    ,  director,  Reagan  Gubernatorial 
Era  Project.